Paul Kimmage: There's "a sense that this is being managed rather than addressed"

He was speaking about the failed GAA player's drug test on Off the Ball

Paul Kimmage: There's "a sense that this is being managed rather than addressed"

Brendan O'Sullivan. Image: ©INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan

Paul Kimmage joined Joe Molloy on Off the Ball to discuss the news that a Kerry footballer failed a drug test last year.

The story featured in the Sunday Independent where John Greene revealed that an inter-county player had failed a drug test and was awaiting his punishment.

This prompted the Kerry County Board to release a statement on Sunday that Brendan O'Sullivan was the player in question and that he had already served a sentence.

Speaking on the Sunday paper review, Kimmage said: "I spoke to him (Greene) earlier in the week when he was chasing this, that he contacted the Kerry County Board on Friday. He got no response from them. He got no response from the Sports Council.

"So the details in his piece as a result, now he's updated it online since, are probably a little bit sketchy.

"But it's kind of interesting isn't it that the story comes out and straight away then we get a Kerry County Board statement saying 'yeah, it was Brendan O'Sullivan and he has served his suspension' etc etc.

"I'm always more interested, Joe, in the reaction to theses stories than anything else...I think it's quite important how the GAA community reacts to this.

"We've had knee-jerk defence; 'this is an outrage, an amateur player, why should this be an issue at all? he's been exonerated' etc. We don't know what the details of this were. 

"What I find really curious, in the 2016 anti-doping report the Sports Council issued, which I think came out in February this year - there was a case pending in that report which we can only assume was this case. 

Dublin's James McCarthy and Brendan O'Sullivan of Kerry. Image: ©INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan

"Now if there's a case pending, when was this suspension served and how was the suspension delivered? 

"A case pending for me is 'we're looking at this and we haven't made the decision yet.' And yet as a result of what the Kerry County Board say, the Sports Council have interviewed all the parties involved, they made a decision, a suspension was issued, the suspension was served and all we're waiting on is the report. 

"Now, how does this happen if only in February Sport Ireland haven't issued a suspension and there's no notice of it at all? 

"So what's going on here? See this is my problem now, is transparency. What really gets me about it is a sense, a sense that this is being managed rather than addressed - and that's the danger for the GAA in all of this if they start going down that road. 

"'We will manage this because that leads to disaster as we've seen in other sports,'" he added. 

Image: Irish Anti-Doping Agency

Of the 1,003 tests carried out in 2015 by the Irish Anti-Doping Agency, 97 were taken from GAA players.  

Only 44 tests in total were gathered from within the FAI and 113 in the IRFU.  

The full Sunday paper review can be found here: