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PED testing in the GAA

  • 21-09-2019 11:59am
    #1
    Closed Accounts Posts: 1,063 ✭✭✭ riemann


    Where could one find details of the number of tests conducted annually in the GAA?

    With the latest revelations from Rugby Union it would be interesting to see what the GAA are doing to ensure it remains a clean sport.

    It is an open secret that substance abuse is rife in underage rugby, having already led to several deaths, due to how competitive it has become.


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,665 ✭✭✭ Bonniedog
    Registered User


    Sports Council, nearly sure, is the body that publishes the report annually. As any sport which comes under its remit is subject to testing.

    Very little to see. One peripheral Monaghan panel member tested positive in off season as he stupidly thought that he might use something to enhance his chances of making the team. Nothing whatsoever to do with Monaghan team itself.

    Kerry player O'Sullivan tested positive after 2016 league final. End of him. Again, no suggestion it was encouraged or hidden by Kerry management.

    Clare also got a fine when they moved a winter training session during the bad floods a few years back without informing the testers who had planned a random visit. Again, Clare had only secured alternative training pitch late on and failure to notify was oversight.

    No doubt there are club players using stuff as pat of S & C but an inter county player would run huge risk of being caught.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,056 ✭✭✭ darced
    Registered User


    Is the testing not completely pointless anyway? As in they are only tested at training or at a match? Only an idiot would test positive under those circumstances. Steroids are rife in GAA, as they are in any other competitive sport.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,919 ✭✭✭ beggars_bush
    Registered User


    darced wrote: »
    Is the testing not completely pointless anyway? As in they are only tested at training or at a match? Only an idiot would test positive under those circumstances. Steroids are rife in GAA, as they are in any other competitive sport.

    They can arrive unannounced at any county training session.
    Gym, pitch, recovery or at a game. Even a challenge game


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,665 ✭✭✭ Bonniedog
    Registered User


    The OP mentioned the number of people who are caught in rugby. That reflects the level of testing. Obviously there is greater pressure and a culture within professional rugby.

    The small amount of people caught in GAA despite the virtual year long testing reflects fact that the sports are clean. Apart from the official testing you may be certain that counties test players themselves as it would be huge embarrassment if someone was caught.

    It is noticeable too that no one has suggested that the players who were caught were doing it with connivance of their teams. That would certainly not be the case in other sports it would seem, including some rugby set ups.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,889 ✭✭✭ MayoAreMagic
    Registered User


    Bonniedog wrote: »
    The OP mentioned the number of people who are caught in rugby. That reflects the level of testing. Obviously there is greater pressure and a culture within professional rugby.

    The small amount of people caught in GAA despite the virtual year long testing reflects fact that the sports are clean. Apart from the official testing you may be certain that counties test players themselves as it would be huge embarrassment if someone was caught.

    It is noticeable too that no one has suggested that the players who were caught were doing it with connivance of their teams. That would certainly not be the case in other sports it would seem, including some rugby set ups.

    Wouldnt agree. There is a clearly defined off season where guys are not going to be tested. Anyone who knows about ped abuse in sport knows that this is wide open to abuse and they can be taken without ever being detected.

    I dont doubt that there are very famous athletes who we believe to be great, that are using peds with years. The belief that they are so good has probably clouded our judgement as to how they are so good. Gaa is probably no different, although the amateur nature would make it more than likely, a bit less prevalent.

    There was a famous 100m race, where ben johnson broke the world record. There were two famous runners in it and they were household names, the rest were probably only really known by athletics anoraks truth be told. However, after subsequent testing with equipment from this day and age, it was found that of the 8 runners, 7 were doping. The one guy that wasnt - ie the true fastest man on the planet, was a guy that was not widely known and had little fame. Yet as a youth he was very highly regarded and was maybe seen as not reaching his full potential. But maybe he did? That is the thing, the doping has probably been clouding your view on guys for decades, which means the thing is totally rampant.

    Id say their are top level gaa players doping tbh. We are probably a bit naive on that front. Like are players who take a year away, or a break overseas etc, actually doing that? Im not trying to cast aspersions on any individuals, it is just something that we probably dont question, which maybe we should.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,683 ✭✭✭ Subcomandante Marcos


    Anyone who thinks there isn't doping in GAA is crazy. It's possibly the easiest high level sport to dope in on the island and one of the ones where you'd get huge benefits from using cycles in the off season.
    The fact that there's no random out of competition testing and testing only happens at training grounds and playing grounds is a joke.

    Anyone stupid enough to get caught in a regime like that deserves a slap, never mind a ban.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,005 ✭✭✭ BDI


    Its rife in every walk of life. Even charity boxing matches and amateur soccer. People doping for sexier Instagram pictures.

    I would go as far as saying the top tier of every sport now has more dopers than clean athletes. Horrible situation.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,665 ✭✭✭ Bonniedog
    Registered User


    There have been individuals caught, and no doubt there are a few who may still be using. It is certainly not part of the culture nor encouraged at any level, and teams do their own testing so it is high risk strategy for anyone foolish/desperate enough to take the chance.

    Of course it is possible to use and hide, as has been proven in other sports. But a key part of that was having access to expensive corrupt medical regimes that were part of the clubs/teams/Olympic committees for whom the dopers competed for,

    I dont think anyone beleives that is the case for Irish athletics, rugby, GAA or soccer?


  • Moderators, Education Moderators, Sports Moderators, Regional South Moderators Posts: 15,201 Mod ✭✭✭✭ rebel girl 15
    Moderator


    riemann wrote: »
    Where could one find details of the number of tests conducted annually in the GAA?

    With the latest revelations from Rugby Union it would be interesting to see what the GAA are doing to ensure it remains a clean sport.

    It is an open secret that substance abuse is rife in underage rugby, having already led to several deaths, due to how competitive it has become.

    Last Sports Ireland report I could find was 2017 on

    40 in competition (highest number of all sports funded by SI)
    67 out of competition
    19 blood tests
    126 in total

    IRFU
    0 in competition
    90 out of competition
    55 blood tests
    145 in total


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,199 ✭✭✭ Ardent
    Registered User


    You can be sure there's doping in GAA, it's too easy not to.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,683 ✭✭✭ Subcomandante Marcos


    Last Sports Ireland report I could find was 2017 on

    40 in competition (highest number of all sports funded by SI)
    67 out of competition
    19 blood tests
    126 in total

    IRFU
    0 in competition
    90 out of competition
    55 blood tests
    145 in total

    This only covers the SI "user pays" scheme. The IRFU have other programmes they are involved in. The user pays scheme is targeted at club rugby in Ireland. The provincial and international teams get far more rigorous testing, including having to declare their whereabouts if they're travelling for personal reasons outside their usual area so they can be tested while on holiday.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,665 ✭✭✭ Bonniedog
    Registered User


    Rugby like cycling is tested rigorously for a good reason it would seem.

    GAA, as rebel girl's post shows, is tested at similar level here.

    Professional rugby given its attritional nature and fact that players have paid recovery periods is obviously more open to abuse. It would also seem that it is encouraged within some clubs if player and other testimony is accurate.


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,967 ✭✭✭✭ The Lost Sheep


    riemann wrote: »
    Where could one find details of the number of tests conducted annually in the GAA?

    With the latest revelations from Rugby Union it would be interesting to see what the GAA are doing to ensure it remains a clean sport.

    It is an open secret that substance abuse is rife in underage rugby, having already led to several deaths, due to how competitive it has become.
    It isnt at all open secret and any links to the several deaths already to have occured?
    If talking about ireland anyway substance abuse is not at all that prevalent.
    darced wrote: »
    Is the testing not completely pointless anyway? As in they are only tested at training or at a match? Only an idiot would test positive under those circumstances. Steroids are rife in GAA, as they are in any other competitive sport.
    Far from pointless and yes theyre nearly just tested at training and matches but the drugs will still often/mainly still be in the system so far from just idiots who could get caught in those circumstances
    BDI wrote: »
    Its rife in every walk of life. Even charity boxing matches and amateur soccer. People doping for sexier Instagram pictures.

    I would go as far as saying the top tier of every sport now has more dopers than clean athletes. Horrible situation.
    Last sentence is completely incorrect. Nowhere near that level


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,005 ✭✭✭ BDI


    It isnt at all open secret and any links to the several deaths already to have occured?
    If talking about ireland anyway substance abuse is not at all that prevalent.

    Far from pointless and yes theyre nearly just tested at training and matches but the drugs will still often/mainly still be in the system so far from just idiots who could get caught in those circumstances

    Last sentence is completely incorrect. Nowhere near that level

    By what you post in the second paragraph you have absolutely no authority to tell me what is completely incorrect.

    Microdosing can get drugs in and out of your system in hours, a course of steroids can benefit you for 4 years. You can get caught banned for two years and still come back and have 2 years at a better level than before you doped.

    The Russians were caught with a systematic doping campaign that funnily enough was not enough to win them the majority of the medals in them years in sports that are built on speed and power.
    So say ten percent extra performance from steroids which is a fairly conservative estimate.

    You think the British, Chinese and Americans just happened to be ten percent better than these doping Russians because they had better breeding.

    Soccer players get caught a lot of the time when they get a surprise call up to World Cup and Continental tournaments. Why is this? They didn’t think they would be near any testers and get lose with their doping plan. Suddenly players who would happen to be more than ten percent better than them get injured so now they get called into the fold and get caught.

    I know people who sell steroids. Half the gym is on them. Lads lifting weights now start taking steroids before they can bench properly. They know more about steroids than calories. These lads also play Sunday league football at pub team level.

    It is rife.

    Now it’s not a huge leap to think it’s fairly rampant in a sport that’ll set you for life if you get selected at county level that had pretty much no chance of blood testing you properly over the holiday period if you take a course of even basic steroids.


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,967 ✭✭✭✭ The Lost Sheep


    BDI wrote: »
    By what you post in the second paragraph you have absolutely no authority to tell me what is completely incorrect.

    Microdosing can get drugs in and out of your system in hours, a course of steroids can benefit you for 4 years. You can get caught banned for two years and still come back and have 2 years at a better level than before you doped.

    The Russians were caught with a systematic doping campaign that funnily enough was not enough to win them the majority of the medals in them years in sports that are built on speed and power.
    So say ten percent extra performance from steroids which is a fairly conservative estimate.

    You think the British, Chinese and Americans just happened to be ten percent better than these doping Russians because they had better breeding.

    Soccer players get caught a lot of the time when they get a surprise call up to World Cup and Continental tournaments. Why is this? They didn’t think they would be near any testers and get lose with their doping plan. Suddenly players who would happen to be more than ten percent better than them get injured so now they get called into the fold and get caught.

    I know people who sell steroids. Half the gym is on them. Lads lifting weights now start taking steroids before they can bench properly. They know more about steroids than calories. These lads also play Sunday league football at pub team level.

    It is rife.

    Now it’s not a huge leap to think it’s fairly rampant in a sport that’ll set you for life if you get selected at county level that had pretty much no chance of blood testing you properly over the holiday period if you take a course of even basic steroids.
    I do when you try claim there's more dopers than clean athletes in "top tier of every sport" because thats bull****!
    You are making very big wild accusations with nothing to actually back it up


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,665 ✭✭✭ Bonniedog
    Registered User


    If it was rife then they would caught way more than the two eijits referred to above.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,005 ✭✭✭ BDI


    Bonniedog wrote: »
    If it was rife then they would caught way more than the two eijits referred to above.

    The testing is years behind the doping.

    Do they even keep the blood in gaa to test again when better testing has come in to play?


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,665 ✭✭✭ Bonniedog
    Registered User


    You seem desperate to imply that it is rife in GAA when there is no evidence that it is.

    You just ignore the official findings and imply that amateurs might be more cunning at evading tests than professionals.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,889 ✭✭✭ MayoAreMagic
    Registered User


    Bonniedog wrote: »
    You seem desperate to imply that it is rife in GAA when there is no evidence that it is.

    You just ignore the official findings and imply that amateurs might be more cunning at evading tests than professionals.

    Have you any evidence to suggest he is wrong? You dont seem to have a grasp of how the thing works. You suggest that because teams test themselves, that proves something. But if they dont test out of season and only test when you are in their setup, then it is no more effectual than the flawed testing the gaa have in place already, which is to say, utterly pointless.
    Drugs are rampant in sport. Barcelona were employing a doctor that was later incriminated in putting together complicated doping plans that avoid detection. Why would they be employing a guy with this sort of expertise? Even the whole setup with messi is dodgey. He was prescribed HGH as a child, but it was administered under the clubs supervision. What does thst sound remarkably like? Team Sky and their use of TUEs in cycling maybe? There is a grey area being exploited on that front.

    The reality is people think that there is only a few at it and they are getting caught, but what is far more likely to be happening is that the guys who arent involved in high end setups and cant get access to sound avoidance-advice are the ones getting caught.

    I know of one high profile gaa player who was rumoured to be caught in house. He played intercounty gaa afterwards...


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,665 ✭✭✭ Bonniedog
    Registered User


    I do actually have an idea of how it works as l know someone who is involved at pretty high level in athletics coaching.

    There are, as I said, examples of clubs in professional sports and corrupt Olympic councils, facilitating and hiding drug taking. There is no evidence that has been happening here.

    If you know of a county that discovered a cheat and allowed him continue then you should not be telling me or BDI but reporting it to the relevant authorities. Otherwise you are just retailing rumours and could equally imply that Monaghan and Kerry were complicit in the two cases I referred to.

    I dont believe for one moment that they were. You are claiming that a county set up allowed this. That is pretty serious allegation.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,952 ✭✭✭ PressRun
    Registered User


    I don't know if it's "rife" but I'd say it's going on a lot more than the general public realise. I would imagine its very common in the top tier of many sports.
    In addition to the drugs being ahead of the testing, I would also imagine that many sports wouldn't consider it in their best interests to catch out and publicise doping scandals. This possibly plays a part in why we don't hear of it very often outside of athletics and cycling, who both seem to have an endemic problem with it and the image of those sports has suffered as a result. It wouldn't surprise me if other sports look at that and decide that it's better publicity to just pretend that their top athletes are clean and that they're all just exceptional at their chosen sport than it is to blow the lid on it and potentially damage the reputation of the sport and its main ambassadors. I think this goes on a lot in tennis, in particular.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,005 ✭✭✭ BDI


    Tyson fury, povetkin and Dylan whyte are all boxers that tested positive. Povetkin is back from a ban and fighting some of his best boxing in his very late 30s.
    This is just at the top of one weight class off the top of my head.

    The world forgets and thinks fury took the time off because of mental health issues.

    It’s absolutely everywhere.

    To think only two silly buggers were at it in the gaa and they were caught is really naive.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,952 ✭✭✭ PressRun
    Registered User


    I know of one high profile gaa player who was rumoured to be caught in house. He played intercounty gaa afterwards...

    If we're thinking of the same person, that fella was caught with recreational drugs allegedly, not PEDs.
    That's a whole other matter.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,665 ✭✭✭ Bonniedog
    Registered User


    Sporting bodies can't just "pretend" that their sports are clean!

    That would involve the complicity of the testers in covering it up. That happens in some professional sports through bribery, and in some authoritarian states like China and Russia where the testers and the tested are all under state control and as in the case of the Russian whistleblower, at great risk if they say anything.

    You don't seriously believe the GAA, FAI. IRFU or BLE or IABA have that going on do you?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,005 ✭✭✭ BDI


    I believe they only test as much as they have to for appearances.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,665 ✭✭✭ Bonniedog
    Registered User


    PressRun wrote: »
    If we're thinking of the same person, that fella was caught with recreational drugs allegedly, not PEDs.
    That's a whole other matter.



    There have been several cases of that over the years, Different thing altogether although know of one Dublin player - never a household name - who was dropped like hot snot nearly 20 years ago for taking coke.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,952 ✭✭✭ PressRun
    Registered User


    Bonniedog wrote: »
    Sporting bodies can't just "pretend" that their sports are clean!

    That would involve the complicity of the testers in covering it up. That happens in some professional sports through bribery, and in some authoritarian states like China and Russia where the testers and the tested are all under state control and as in the case of the Russian whistleblower, at great risk if they say anything.

    You don't seriously believe the GAA, FAI. IRFU or BLE or IABA have that going on do you?


    As I said, I don't believe it's rife in the GAA like some are suggesting, though I don't believe the sport is totally clean either.

    But I do think cover ups absolutely are happening in some major sports around the world. As I said, I believe it's going on in tennis. The testing is imperfect and there are likely many professional athletes who are walking a very fine line and taking substances that haven't yet appeared on the banned substances list. There also isn't always an unbiased moderator at the heart of it. Sports are businesses after all, many of them multi, multi million pound businesses, and maintaining a clean image secures the financial future of the sport. Top athletes are hugely marketable now with massive amounts of financial interest from sponsors and such like. It wouldn't surprise me at all to learn that major sports essentially tighten the hatches on these kinds of stories, so while an athlete might fail a test, it doesn't mean said failure gets publicised. The athlete just goes away for a little while to "treat an injury" or "take time off", and then they come back again. Rafael Nadal has been rumoured to be at this for years.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,665 ✭✭✭ Bonniedog
    Registered User


    As I said I do know someone in athletics coaching. He was good runner himself and coaches some of best younger runners. He is totally confident none of them are using, but that it definitely becomes an issue when they get university scholarships overseas and are on verge of making international statue.

    I loved watching track but when heroes like Farah and the great Kenyans are now under a cloud the whole think becomes a farce. Wouldn't bother watching any more and long ago gave up on boxing at professional level. And even amateur is questionable now with corrupt judges and most likely drugs.

    So of course GAA players are no more immune to temptation than anyone else, but I do not think there is a corporate culture there that encourages it. No more than there is within FAI or IRFU or athletics and boxing. Temptation is often generated internally.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,040 ✭✭✭ babybuilder
    Registered User


    How many gaa players in this year's championship, particularly at the latter end, went down with cramp during a game? In most professional team sports 60 minutes is the normal limit to high physical endurance as is evident in instances of subs brought on in soccer and rugby. I'm amazed at the level of fitness of some some of these players. Makes you wonder.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,889 ✭✭✭ MayoAreMagic
    Registered User


    PressRun wrote: »
    If we're thinking of the same person, that fella was caught with recreational drugs allegedly, not PEDs.
    That's a whole other matter.

    No, not recreational. PEDs.


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