Kerry GAA chiefs have hit back at comments by Dr Una May in today's Irish Examiner where the Sport Ireland anti-doping chief claimed that Brendan O'Sullivan did not learn of his suspension via a phonecall from Sport Ireland, writes Eoghan Cormican.
Eamonn Fitzmaurice, earlier this week, said O'Sullivan received a phonecall on the morning of May 12, 2016 where he was told he had been banned for four years. Dr May has countered this claim.
The Kerry statement read: "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”.
According to Kerry, the email sent to O'Sullivan that morning read: “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.”
Yesterday, Dr May said: "To say that we would ring him to say he had a four-year ban — why would we? In all these years, we have never had a supplement case that would lead to a four-year ban.
"Until you hear an athlete’s story, you can’t possibly say it’s going to be a four-year ban.
"That’s clearly inaccurate and incorrect. Anybody who knows about anti-doping would know that would not be the case.
"It’s frustrating when there is misinformation put out there but it’s not in our interest or anybody else’s interests to drag the situation any longer."
Kerry chiefs also state that Fitzmaurice never accused Sport Ireland of leaking details of the case to a Sunday newspaper, rather he questioned how it became known to the Sunday Independent.
The statement continued: "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."
Said Dr May in today's Irish Examiner: "It does seem that a lot of attention is being drawn to the leak whereas the issue here is much greater than a leak.
"The issue is athletes continue to take supplements without due care and attention and protecting themselves and that’s a big concern for us."