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"Luke, What Do You Stand For?" - Paul Kimmage Tears Into Luke Fitzgerald

"Luke, What Do You Stand For?" - Paul Kimmage Tears Into Luke Fitzgerald

In what was supposed to be a discussion about Dublin's perceived cheating in the closing moments of the All-Ireland final, Luke Fitzgerald may well regret his decision to invite Paul Kimmage into a recording studio.

Taking the chance to join Fitzgerald on his podcast The Left Wing, Kimmage had not come to play games.

Paul has a copy of his book Rough Ride, he has three ring-binders, a newspaper, a notebook, a stack of papers and another stack of papers under that.

Similar to Conor McGregor getting into a boxing ring with Floyd Mayweather, Fitzgerald may have taken on Kimmage a little too early in his journalism career.

That is of course if we assume this was ever to be a serious debate. Ultimately, like McGregor, Fitzgerald may have been seeking - and will ultimately receive - alternate gains here beyond the realms of journalistic plaudits.

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Having taken exemption with Fitzgerald's description of Kimmage as 'bitter', a 'bully' and a 'cheat', the former Irish cyclist entered on the offensive - there would be no concession of early rounds here to suss Fitzgerald out.

With the host Will Slattery trying on numerous occasions to steer the discussion back to the issue of Dublin and whether their late antics were an example of clever play or outright cheating, no such discussion really occurred.

Spending an inordinate amount of time discussing the issue of performance enhancing drugs in rugby, both figures had their individual perception and were largely unwilling to concede any ground:

You haven't got a clue Luke, with respect, you haven't got a clue what I know, or who has come to me and knocked on door and told me, 'Paul, you need to have a look at this'.

In what amounted to a fascinating - if somewhat ragged - arguement, the former Irish international Fitzgerald did not cover himself in glory.

Convinced that Kimmage's admitted three-week experimentation with amphetamines in Rough Ride tarnished his ability to then query what was considered cheating, the reasoning behind Kimmage's amassed 'papers and ring-binders' became clear.

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They documented the five years and five months across which Kimmage had been sued by the UCI for his writings on doping in cycling, Fitzgerald's earlier assertion became somewhat shakier.

Remaining firm on his stance that Kimmage was 'bitter' and a 'bully', Fitzgerald described Kimmage's approach. In all honesty, even over this audio-based medium, it was clear enough without this description:

Even when we're talking to each other here; you're pointing in my face, you're very, very aggressive, I think off the back of that, my view of you would be that you're bitter. ... I think you're a bully.

In what amounts to a fascinating three-quarters of an hour, there really was no contest in terms of which pundit was better-equipped to deal with such issues.

However, despite his inability to deal with Kimmage's 27 or so years of experience, the nascent journalism career of Fitzgerald will undoubtedly receive a boost from this interaction.

You can, and absolutely should, listen to the full podcast here.

See Also: Andy Moran Rules Out A Run At Leinster House After Being Linked To Election Bid

Arthur James O'Dea

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