Kerry’s Brendan O’Sullivan, right, was out for 21 weeks in 2016 after failing an anti-doping test. INPHO/LORRAINE O’SULLIVAN
Meanwhile, the only genuine news story on the GAA front since the lockdown was a negative one with the emergence last weekend that an inter-county player had failed a drugs test in February.
The player is not from one of the leading counties and was tested as part of Sport Ireland’s anti-doping program. Both the GPA and GAA receive government grants by signing up to this initiative. The player becomes the third inter-county player to fail a test after Monaghan’s Thomas Connolly’s positive return in 2015 and Kerry’s Brendan O’Sullivan four years ago.
Connolly was banned for two years after taking stanozolol but in his defense said he was unaware the pills contained the substance.
O’Sullivan was out of football for 21 weeks after the disciplinary panel accepted the fact that the supplements label did not state there was the presence of a banned stimulant.
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The newest case will be appealed by the player who faces a maximum of four years out of action if the verdict against him is upheld.
His case comes at a time when prominent Munster rugby player, James Cronin, also received a ban for anti-doping violation – in his case for one month due to what was termed “an unintentional anti-doping violation” by the independent judicial officer in the case.
The 29-year-old prop forward failed the test last November after a Champions Cup game against French side Racing 92. He tested positive for the banned substances prednisolone and prednisone.
However, it was accepted that the failure in this instance was due to a dispensing error by the Pharmacist and there was no intention to take a performance enhancing drug.
Having felt unwell before the match, Cronin was put on a course of antibiotics but in a mix-up with a customer of the same name, the pharmacy gave him the medication which was intended for the other person. This was accepted by the judicial officer as a major mitigating factor which is why the player got the minimal slap-on-the-wrist sentence of a one-month period.