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Ireland U19 player sent home after refusing to take blood test

Thomas Byrne had previously featured in the side’s 0-0 draw with Azerbaijan.

File pic.
File pic.
Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

IRELAND U19 PLAYER Thomas Byrne was sent home from camp after refusing to take a blood test, The42 understands.

Byrne played the 89 minutes in last week’s 0-0 draw with Azerbaijan, but was absent from Tom Mohan’s side’s 5-0 victory over Cyprus at the weekend.

The incident, first reported by The Herald, has been reported by the FAI to Sport Ireland, with the player likely to be punished with a suspension for his actions.

A statement issued by the latter organisation to The42 read: “Sport Ireland is aware of a matter concerning a member of the Ireland Under-19 squad. The testing was not carried out by Sport Ireland officials, however the FAI has made Sport Ireland aware of the incident.”

18-year-old Byrne, who plays as a striker, joined Drogheda from Brighton last January, having spent 18 months at the English club after moving there from St Kevin’s Boys.

The youngster has been a regular of late in Pete Mahon’s side, who have been relegated this season having so far picked up just 18 points from 30 games.

– An earlier version of this article, published on 10 October 2017, incorrectly featured a photograph of Jamie Hollywood, a team-mate of Thomas Byrne’s. We apologise to Mr Hollywood for this error and are happy to clarify that Mr Hollywood was not the subject of the article. Mr Hollywood was not sent home from camp and did not refuse to take a blood test.

– The comments have been closed for legal reasons.

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Paul Fennessy

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