Irish rugby, cycling, athletics are highest risk for doping, not GAA

Posted on: August 8th, 2017

Irish rugby, cycling, athletics doping high-risk not GAA - Sport Ireland

Irish rugby, cycling, athletics are the three sports at the highest risk of doping and there is no doping culture in GAA, says Sport Ireland.


Irish rugby, cycling, athletics doping high-risk not GAA – Sport Ireland


Sport Ireland has said it regards Irish cycling, rugby and athletics as the three high-risk sports for doping.

But the head of the organisation, John Treacy, does not believe there is a doping culture in Gaelic games.

Treacy, a star long distance runner in his day, said Sport Ireland had no plans to introduced a ‘whereabouts’ dope testing system for GAA.

GAA players are tested in-competition (after matches) and by appointment at training.

John Treacy said they were subjected to less stringent testing compared to other sports, where a strict whereabouts system applied for top athletes, because GAA was simply not regarded as high risk.

“The GAA is not a high-risk sport, in our view,” Treacy told journalists at a briefing in Dublin about anti doping.

“We view athletics and cycling as high-risk, rugby as somewhat high-risk.

“It’s based on the number of positives internationally and our experience in recent years.

“If we thought a GAA player was high-risk, we’d target-test any player.”

John Treacy added the lack of financial incentive for GAA players to dope was the main reason Gaelic games were seen as low risk.

“Worldwide, if you look at positive tests, it always correlates to money in the sport,” he said.

That assertion may raise some eyebrows because doping in amateur sport, even among those into their 40s and 50s, is increasing. And for those athletes there was no financial incentive and no chance whatever of there ever being an incentive.

Treacy continued: “In rowing, you have very few positive tests because there are not the same monetary rewards as in other sports.”

He added if there were fears doping was emerging in the GAA a whereabouts system, allowing for players to be found and tested at any time, would be pushed for.