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Jim Gavin isn't happy with the timing of drug tests - 'They may be a little over anxious to do it'

The All-Ireland winning manager has elaborated on his comments after the football league final.

Dublin manager Jim Gavin with attacker Kevin McManamon at yesterday's Leinster championship launch.
Dublin manager Jim Gavin with attacker Kevin McManamon at yesterday's Leinster championship launch.
Image: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

DUBLIN MANAGER JIM Gavin has clarified his post-league final comments surrounding the drug testing of players and reiterated his problem is with the timing of the tests.

Gavin surprisingly launched an attack on the procedures in the aftermath of their recent final win over Kerry.

The Dublin boss bemoaned at the time that four players, two from either team,  were unable to witness the GAA’s Laochra show – which commemorated the 1916 Rising – after the game.

At yesterday’s 2016 Leinster championship launch, Gavin explained his stance further and outlined why he believes players should be allowed more time in the aftermath of a game.

“We just carry out those procedures in accordance with the GAA policy, which states that once the player is informed by the doping control officer that he needs to go to the doping control station, the two exceptions are if he is involved in a victory celebration or media duties.

“So, we were just following procedure. Whatever anyone else says to us, we’re not going to let our player go outside that procedure because we would be in breach of those protocols.

“And that’s what we did. My issue at the time was the doping control officer should have waited until the player came back in from that because once he makes contact for the player, the player has to go to that doping control centre.

“I’m not going to let my players be in breach of the protocols. The point is that the doping control officer shouldn’t approach the player until all that is over.

“And then let him enjoy his post match dealing with defeat or victory or those special times when you can have a little time with players, where you can soak in that atmosphere.

“Those precious couple of moments after a game. Once that is over, then approach the player. Then go through the protocols. But not when a player walks down the tunnel after a game and the emotions haven’t probably even left him.

“It’s just about the right place at the right time. We fully endorse all that’s been done by the National Sports Council. We don’t want cheats in the game. We want the integrity of the game to be upheld.

“There’s probably not enough testing, if you look at the statistics. The amount of inter-county players being tested, it’s a very, very small percentage.

“But that’s not this debate. My issue is with the timing of it. Let a player have their space for a few moments and then approach them. I understand they have a job to do. But they may be a little bit over anxious to do it.”

– First published 06.00

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Fintan O'Toole

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