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Kerry Release Another Statement As The Brendan O'Sullivan Mess Drags On

Kerry Release Another Statement As The Brendan O'Sullivan Mess Drags On
By Gavin Cooney Updated
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More than a year after Brendan O'Sullivan was informed by Sport Ireland that he had inadvertently failed a routine drugs test after the 2016 league final, the saga drags on.

Since the story came to light in the Sunday Independent on May 28th, it has been dragged out in the media. The initial report did not name the player, but Kerry GAA released a statement a few hours after the story's publication to confirm that the player in question is Brendan O'Sullivan.

We had to wait until June 1st for the full Sport Ireland report on the matter, with the period in between marked by much debate over the use of supplements in the GAA and the exact details of the case: the best debate on the matter was on Today FM, between Marc O'Sé, Dick Clerkin, and Paul Kimmage. 

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After the Sport Ireland report finally brought a level of closure to the matter, Eamonn Fitzmaurice defended O'Sullivan, and criticised the leaking of the story to the Sunday Independent.

That's a huge question. The how, why and who leaked it to the Sunday Independent. Who leaked that report when it wasn’t finished?

We had a statement ready to go on this since last July, but it couldn't be released until the process was fully complete. Because this is a very robust process, you are guilty until proven innocent. Brendan was notified last May 12 at 10am, got a phone call. 'You failed a drug test, and by the way, you are banned for four years'.

That call came from Sport Ireland, which said that under WADA regulations, he was now banned for four years.
It was clear straight away what the contaminated product was because everything else he would have taken would have been through the Kerry set up.

He didn't like the taste of the caffeine gel, he went and bought something off his own bat and it was contaminated. It took us 11 weeks to prove it was contaminated after being sent off to the labs for testing. Why everything takes so long in these things, I can’t understand.

Dr. Una May, Sport Ireland's anti-doping chief, spoke to John Fogarty of the Irish Examiner over the issue, and said she had no reason to conduct an inquiry into the leak, and clarified that the leak did not come from Sport Ireland:

Of course, it’s not in our interests to leak any information as everyone who tried hard to get information out of us at the time would know. We weren’t in the business of leaking information. There’s no point in trying for us to even discuss a leak from our point of view because clearly, it wouldn’t come from us. If it was going to come from us it was going to come from us a lot sooner.

We don’t leak information. The process is highly important to us. The case cost us a very significant amount of money and we would have followed this case already as we would every case with the highest possible level of integrity to make sure the athlete was given every possible opportunity to have a fair hearing.

Following the publication of that interview, Kerry GAA have since published another statement on their website, clarifying that Eamonn Fitzmaurice did not claim that Sport Ireland had leaked the information.

Here's the statement in full:

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The Kerry County Board and Senior Football manager wish to react to claims of misinformation in today’s Irish Examiner by Dr Una May from Sport Ireland.

During his press event on Monday June 5th Éamonn Fitzmaurice did not say that Sport Ireland was responsible for the leak of Brendan O’Sullivan’s case. He merely asked where the leak came from and this is still a valid query.

On May 12th 2016 Brendan O’Sullivan received an email from Sport Ireland at 10:23am to follow up on an earlier phone call from Dr Una May. In this e-mail an attachment detailing his case, signed by Dr Una May, informed him that he was banned for four years until he could prove his innocence;

“3.1 Our records indicate that this would be your first ADRV and therefore pursuant to Article 10.1.1 Sport Ireland shall assert that a period of ineligibility of four (4) years (Article 10.1.1) should be imposed upon you.”

Depending on Brendan O’Sullivan proving his innocence, the other reduced sanctions and when they apply, are also detailed throughout section 3 on consequences.

We hope that this finally concludes this protracted process.

We hope so too.

See Also: Junior B Footballer Kicks Ball At Ref, Misses, Gets Banned For 48 Weeks

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