Sport Ireland name supplement which caused Brendan O'Sullivan to fail drugs test

Sport Ireland published a considered report into the case on Thursday

Brendan O'Sullivan

Image: ©INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan

Sport Ireland have revealed the name of the supplement taken by Brendan O'Sullivan which caused him to fail a drugs test after last year's Division 1 League Final.

In a considered report published on Thursday, Sport Ireland say the Kerry footballer admitted that he had committed an anti-doping rule violation and that he "engaged in a consultation process with Sport Ireland under the Irish Anti-Doping Rules regarding the sanction to be imposed on him."

He was handed a 21-week ban, which he has since served.

O'Sullivan tested positive for methylhexaneamine ("MHA"), which was found to have been in a contaminated supplement called Falcon Labs Oxyburn Pro Superthermotech.

The report says that O'Sullivan "asserted that it was a contaminated product" as defined in the Irish Anti-Doing Rules.

O'Sullivan claims that MHA was "not disclosed on the label or in a reasonable internet search" which he says was carried out before taking the product.

They continue: "After analysis by Sport Ireland, carried out at the WADA-accredited laboratory in Cologne, of tablets left over from the original tub which Mr. O'Sullivan purchased and analysis of tablets from an unopened tub of the same product and consideration of sworn testimony from Mr. O'Sullivan regarding the internet search he had carried out, Sport Ireland accepted that it was a contaminated product case, that Mr. O'Sullivan bore no significant fault or negligence and specified a sanction of 7 months which it considered appropriate."

This period of ineligibility was contested by O'Sullivan and so the matter was referred to the GAA Anti-Doping Hearings Committee.

The committee imposed a sanction of 26 weeks.

In March, O'Sullivan said he would be appealing the decision to the Irish Sport Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel, who advised the parties that it had determined that the sanction should be reduced from 26 weeks to 21 weeks.

The report states: "Mr. O'Sullivan was provisionally suspended from the 13th of May 2016 to the 28th of July 2016, a period of 11 weeks at which time his provisional suspension was lifted by the Chair of the Irish Sport Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel under Article 7.8.3 because the violation was likely to have involved a contaminated product and the remaining 10 weeks of ineligibility was deemed by the Irish Sport Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel to have commenced on the 26th February 2017, the date of his last participation in the Kerry panel."

Sport Ireland says it has "a very clear policy in relation to supplements and recommends against the use of sports supplements" for the following reasons:

  • They believe that a correct dietary and nutritional regime will provide all the potential benefits of sports supplements.
  • They believe that, given the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) principle of strict liability, elite athletes are opening up the possibility of inadvertent positive tests by taking supplements.
  • They believe it is inappropriate for any junior athlete or player to be taking supplements that could have an impact on their physical development.

The full decisions of the Irish Sport Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel and the GAA Anti-Doping Committee, along with a note on the specified sanction procedure, can be viewed here.