Sport Ireland recorded a rise in “doping whereabouts” failures in 2017 for the fourth year in a row, TheCity.ie can reveal.
Failures have risen from four in 2014 to twelve in 2017, a 200 percent increase in a four year period. Over this time, the number of athletes tested has fallen from 1,054 in 2014 to 989 in 2017.
A whereabouts failure includes those who have missed a test or failed to make a whereabouts filing, according to the World Anti-Doping Agency.
Under the Sport Ireland Act (2015), Sport Ireland’s function in relation to Anti-Doping includes “to facilitate, through the promulgation of guidelines and codes of practice, standards of good conduct, fair play and the elimination of doping in sport.”
Although testing as a whole fell from 2014 to 2017, GAA testing both in and out of competition and blood also rose steadily by 29 percent over the last four years.
Testing by the IRFU also increased over the four year period by 29 percent while the FAI testing rose by 2 percent.
No surprises as Athletics Ireland conducted the most tests over the last four years combined. Perhaps more unexpectedly, Ladies Gaelic Football testing has remained static at four each year for the last number of years.
The IRFU do not test in competition and the FAI do not do blood testing, while organisations like the GAA, Athletics Ireland, Swim Ireland and Horse Sport Ireland test both in and out of competition as well as blood.
Ciaran Dunne, the vice-captain of the London Senior Football Team and a player representative on the GPA isn’t surprised to see the number of GAA players tested rising.
“I don’t think any current or former players would have a problem with increased frequency of testing. Players have an ownership and responsibility for what we/they ingest and what goes into our bodies.
“I don’t feel it’s a major issue in the game and for the sport to be recognised and merited within the sporting world then anti-doping will need to be an element of it.”