Monday 18 December 2017

Kerry drugs ban explained

Kerry’s Brendan O’Sullivan. Pic: Sportsfile
Kerry’s Brendan O’Sullivan. Pic: Sportsfile

Kerry footballer Brendan O'Sullivan served a 21-week suspension, split in two, after testing positive for a stimulant, it has been confirmed.

Sport Ireland yesterday released a statement seeking to clarify the lengthy saga relating to O'Sullivan's anti-doping rule violation, dating back 13 months, which only became public arising from weekend revelations in the Sunday Independent.

It was confirmed that O'Sullivan tested positive for the stimulant methylhexaneamine (MHA), having played as a sub for Kerry in last year's Allianz League final.

The statement explains: "He admitted that he had committed an anti-doping rule violation and engaged in a consultation process with Sport Ireland under the Irish Anti-Doping Rules regarding the sanction to be imposed on him. Sport Ireland accepted that it was a contaminated product case, that Mr O'Sullivan bore no significant fault or negligence and reduced the applicable sanction to seven months."

The Valentia clubman declined to accept this sanction and, on January 5, the matter was referred to the GAA Anti-Doping Committee. This imposed a period of ineligibility of six months following a hearing on February 13.

He appealed that decision on March 16 to the Irish Sport Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel, which imposed a 21-week period of ineligibility after a hearing on March 30.

Sport Ireland then outlined how his ban was served over two periods. He was provisionally suspended from May 13 to July 28, 2016 - a period of 11 weeks - before his provisional suspension was lifted by the chair of the Disciplinary Panel because the violation was likely to have involved a contaminated product.

"The remaining 10 weeks of ineligibility commenced on the 26 February 2017, the date of his last participation in the Kerry panel," the statement adds.

The Disciplinary Panel, comprising experts from legal, sports administration and medical backgrounds, will give its reasoned decision shortly and this will be published by Sport Ireland, along with the decision of the GAA Anti-Doping Committee.

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