Blood testing on hold for ladies games

Camogie and ladies football players will not be subject to blood testing in 2016, the Irish Sports Council has revealed.

Blood testing on hold for ladies games

It emerged last week that blood testing will be introduced to the GAA from next year.

However, the Camogie Association and Ladies Gaelic Football Association have not been included in this plan and an ISC spokesperson said the decision was based around “resources”.

“No discussions have taken place between the Irish Sports Council and the Camogie Association or LGFA and there are no plans to bring them on board in the near future with regard to blood testing,” said the spokesperson.

A statement released by the LGFA to the Irish Examiner yesterday suggests the ladies football body would welcome the introduction of blood testing: “We are examining the new rules regarding blood testing and they will be discussed at Central Council level, but there should not be any issues with the introduction of that into Ladies Gaelic Football in the same way as there were none regarding previous testing arrangements.”

In 2014, only four camogie players and four ladies football players were drug tested.

All eight were tested in competition and there was no out of competition testing. This pales by comparison to the 89 drug tests undertaken in the GAA last year – 44 in competition and 45 out of competition.

Both the Camogie Association and the LGFA were subject to out of competition drug testing in recent years and resources were again cited as the primary reason for the low numbers being tested and as to why not a single out of competition drug test took place in 2014. The two organisations have been drug-testing senior inter-county players as part of an agreement with the Irish Sports Council since 2001.

Said Camogie Association Anti-Doping officer Mairéad Ní Mhaoileóin: “We give them our All-Ireland senior championship fixtures and they decide what and how many games they attend. We have no input there.”

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