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Sport Ireland driving to improve education after one positive PED test in 2015

Two of the three positive tests last year were for a cocaine metabolite, and one of those cases is still pending.

SPORT IRELAND TODAY unveiled its anti-doping review for 2015, a year when the body announced three positive tests.

Only one of the three adverse findings is a performance enhancing drug: a gaelic footballer who was handed a two-year ban for using the anabolic agent, Stanozolol.

Dr. Úna May, David Howman, John Treacy, Caroline Murphy and Michael Ring, T.D Dr Una May, WADA director general David Bowman, John Treacy, Caroline Murphy and Michael Ring TD have a good read of the report at the Aviva Stadium. Source: Gary Carr/INPHO

Of the remaining two adverse findings, one case remains at the pending stage following a positive test for cocaine metabolite, Benzoylecgonine. The same substance earned a motorsport competitor a 15-month ban.

Sport Ireland moved to highlight the numbers surrounding the process of testing: including a 20% reduction in ‘unsuccessful attempts’ to test participants in team sports. The eight unsuccessful visits are made up by four in football, three from the GAA and one from rugby.

Overall, the report states that there has been a 25% reduction in ‘unsuccessful attempts’ to test the registered pool of competitors.

There were 1.028 tests overseen by Sport Ireland in 2015. 782 out of competition and 246 in competition. The 295 blood samples tested were all from athletes out of competition, but this figure should rise in the 2016 report as GAA players begin to be tested for blood as well as urine.

testing levels *In competition tests for rugby overseen by World Rugby and Six Nations.

Outside of the mesh of figures, new chairman of Sport Ireland’s anti-doping committee, Caroline Murphy stressed the importance of educating incoming stakeholders in sport and ensuring substances easily available to participants at any level are regulated accordingly.

“We partnered regularly with third level education institutions,” said Murphy, formerly a presenter on RTE Radio.

“We either provided anti-doping modules, or contributed materials to the courses taken by their students in sports related areas.

“Supplements continue to be a concern, of course. They make up a vast multi-million dollar industry which is very difficult to regulate. And yet, in a scenario where it is very hard to know what is being taken, people need to know. Because they need to be so careful about what they are taking.

“We are working wit Ireland Active and the Food Safety authority to bring some level of consistency and guidelines to ‘white flag gyms’ which have supplements sales on site. It’s at a pretty basic level, and an early stage. We’re researching what’s going on and trying to make sure, firstly, that supplements are labelled properly. It’s pretty basic, but it’s a start.”

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