GAA

Colm Cooper Labels Dublin Training Scandal As 'Indefensible'

Colm Cooper Labels Dublin Training Scandal As 'Indefensible'

While the punishments have already been handed out, the debate around Dublin's recent training scandal continues to rage on.

Some are in the camp that they did little wrong. They accept that while they did break restrictions, they saw little wrong with a small group of young men training in an outdoor environment. Oisin McConville is amongst that group.

Then you have those that believe what Dublin did was completely unacceptable. Colm Cooper seems to fall into that camp.

Speaking on RTÉ's Sunday Sport, the Kerry Legend said there was no excuse for Dublin to break very clear guidelines. He also feels that their reputation has been damaged as a result.

I thought it was an April fool's.

They've built a reputation as being very clever people in terms of how they perform on the field and off the field. I said that there was no way that they would put themselves in this situation.

It was very surprising to me. At the end of the day it was only nine guys kicking a ball around a field. The bigger problem here is that there are so many clubs and inter-county teams around the country abiding by the rules that the Dubs just decided for themselves that they were going to [train].

The fact that it was an organised and supervised training session as well. I was just very surprised by it. I didn't know why they were doing it.

I was asking myself if they had that much to gain when we knew that the green light was being given to the GAA in a couple of weeks' time to get going.

For a team like Dublin that are so professional in everything that they do, I just didn't think they would get themselves into a situation like that.

They were certainly offside - it's indefensible. I think it's probably tarnished a bit of their reputation at the moment.

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Dublin manager Dessie Farrell has been handed a 12-week ban, meaning he is likely to miss a sizeable chunk of what is set to be a condensed inter-county season.

Moving forward, the GAA will just be hoping there are no more similar controversies with county panels set to return to training later this month.

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Gary Connaughton

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