In July 2001, the GAA agreed to begin drug testing senior Inter-County players as part of an agreement with the Irish Sports Council and their policy to cooperate with the international anti-doping campaign administered by the World Anti-Doping Association (WADA). The GAA believe that doping is contrary to the spirit of sport and every member has a duty to ensure that the sport is free of doping. This information sheet provides up-to-date information from World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), Irish Sports Council (ISC) and GAA rules and regulations in the area of doping.
All Inter-County players may be selected for testing, their membership of the Gaelic Players Association (GPA) commits players to agreeing to testing and in the case of a minor (U/18) the prior written consent of the parent or guardian is required via the initial membership process at Club level, or at selection for competition or through competition entry forms.
All County Team personnel (players, doctors, managers, coaches, physiotherapists, nutritionists, psychologists, officials etc…) have a responsibility to ensure that they are aware of the Irish Anti-Doping Rules and that there is an atmosphere supporting a drug free sport within the club.
A complete copy of the Irish Anti-Doping Rules can be found by clicking here.
The following sections highlight key areas with regard to anti-doping. The Medical, Scientific and Welfare Committee advise all members to read and understand the Anti-Doping Rules and to understand your responsibilities under the rules. The consequences of not adhering to Anti-Doping Rules can be severe for athletes and their support personnel such as coaches and parents; therefore it is critical that any questions/concerns be clarified with either Croke Park or the ISC.
Irish Anti-Doping Rules
The Medical, Scientific & Welfare Committee in conjunction with Central Council have adapted the Irish Anti-Doping Rules as the Anti-Doping Rules of the GAA.
GAA Official Guide
Riail 1.15 Treoir Oifigiúil 2012 Part I states:
‘The Association forbids the use of prohibited substances or methods, a practice generally known as doping in sport. The Rules of the Association regarding doping are the Irish Anti-Doping Rules as adopted by the Irish Sports Council and as amended from time to time. The Rules contained in the said Irish Anti-Doping Rules shall have effect and be construed as Rules of the Association. Central Council shall establish a committee known as the Anti-Doping Hearings Committee. Pursuant to an agreement made between Central Council and the Irish Sports Council, for the purposes of this Rule and the Irish Anti-Doping Rules, all references to the Irish Sport Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel in the Irish Anti-Doping Rules shall be construed as referring to the Anti-Doping Hearings Committee. International Units shall comply with the Anti-Doping legislation in their respective Countries of operation. Central Council shall establish a committee known as the Doping Control Committee and shall designate to it such functions of the Association in relation to the prevention of doping in the games of the Association as it deems suitable.’
Full details on the Irish Anti-Doping Programme are available at: http://www.irishsportscouncil.ie/antidoping
KEY INFORMATION FOR INTER-COUNTY PLAYERS
In principle, any player competing in Inter-County Gaelic games can be tested so each athlete regardless of the level at which they are competing needs to be aware of the anti-doping rules.
(1) WADA Prohibited List – Checking Medications & TUE Policy
The World Anti-Doping Agency issues a Prohibited List annually. For information on the Prohibited List click here.
Note: Recreational Drugs are tested in-competition.
Check the status of over-the-counter and prescribed medications in relation to the Prohibited List, based on where you purchase the medication:
Republic of Ireland:
Drugs in Sport Database on http://www.eirpharm.com
For instant access to the Drugs in Sport Database, download the free 'Medication Checker' App available for iPhone and Android for Eirpharm - find it in the Apple iTunes Store or the Google Play Store
Medications bought in the Republic of Ireland can be checked by your G.P., Consultant or Pharmacist in a monthly publication called MIMS Ireland. Ensure the current months edition is checked.
Northern Ireland/ UK/ Canada/ USA:
Medications bought in Northern Ireland, U.K., U.S.A and Canada can be checked on http://www.globaldro.com
For further information, click here
If a medication is prohibited, you must check and adhere to the Irish Sports Council TUE Policy at http://www.irishsportscouncil.ie/tue.
(2) Sample Collection Procedures
For information on the Sample Collection Procedures that are adhered to when athletes are tested, the following resources are available:
• Click here to find out what happens in a drugs test
• Read the leaflet ‘Sample Collection Procedures – Urine and Blood, click here
• Check out the e-learning programme Real Winner http://www.irishsportscouncil.ie/realwinner
A substantial amount of misinformation exists regarding optimal strategies for achieving peak athletic performance and health. Many ‘nutritional’ products are sold under the pretence that they hold the secret to enhancing performance, however, it must be noted that these typically lack research and sport medicine literature is filled with cases of athletes who have used such products with negative unintended consequences. There is no substitute for matching good food intake with nutrition needs. Proper nutrition supports training and can improve performance, whereas improper nutrition can be detrimental to performance. A well-planned eating strategy will help any training programme, whether you are training for fitness or for competition; promote efficient recovery between workouts; reduce the risk of illness or overtraining; and help you to achieve your best performance.
Athletes need to be aware that there are risks associated with the use of sports supplements with many positive drug tests associated with their use. For more information, read the Irish Sports Council Supplements and Sports Food Policy by clicking here
Useful fact sheets in relation to supplements are available on the Institute of Sport website at:
(4) Registered Testing Pool
Athletes are informed directly by the Irish Sports Council when they are included on the Registered Testing Pool. Athletes on the RTP can be tested anywhere, anytime with no advance notice. Athletes must comply with the RTP requirements such as TUE and Whereabouts requirements. See http://www.irishsportscouncil.ie/rtp for further information.
(5) National Testing Pool
The National Testing Pool (NTP) consists of athletes who are in National Squads and Development Squads, who attend training organized by the GAA. Athletes in the NTP can be drug tested both in- and out-of-competition. Out-of-competition testing will mainly be based on squad/team training sessions but the Irish Sports Council may test an athlete at their home address. Both urine and blood samples can be requested. Click here for more information.
The Irish Sports Council Anti-Doping Unit can also be contacted directly at:
Anti Doping Unit
Irish Sports Council
Top Floor, Block A
Westend Office Park,
Tel: 00353 1 8608800
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