Final drug testing frustrates dehydrated Cats star

The nature of drugs tests in top level GAA is under further scrutiny after a Kilkenny player was detained for around two hours after Sunday’s All-Ireland final.

Having played the full 70 minutes of the game, a seriously dehydrated Jackie Tyrrell was held back by testers until he produced a urine sample.

Unused Kilkenny substitute Paddy Hogan was also subject to the doping test as well as at least one Galway player, Johnny Coen. As a result of the wait, some of the Kilkenny party were delayed leaving Croke Park and attending a dinner at the CityWest Hotel.

It’s not the first time a Kilkenny player has found it difficult to produce a sample.

In 2007, the Irish Sports Council received a complaint from the Cats’ medical team after one of their hurlers was kept for more than two hours in the wake of that year’s Division 1 hurling final against Waterford.

However, there are several reports of such occurrences affecting other teams.

Last March, the Irish Examiner reported a Kerry footballer was kept by testers for more than three hours following an evening training session in Tralee.

So dehydrated was the player that he was unable to give a urine sample until after midnight.

In last year’s Munster championship semi-final in Thurles, a Waterford hurler missed the team bus as he was delayed by a test and had to be driven home by a backroom member.

After the 2010 Division 1 league final against Cork, Mayo’s Alan Dillon discovered his team-mates had left because it had taken him so long to provide a sample.

“It was unbelievable, really, thinking back to it and putting your body under that much stress to produce a sample,” Dillon recalled.

Sligo’s Eamonn O’Hara has also spoken of how on one occasion two of his county team-mates missed the team bus following a Connacht senior football game because one of them had struggled to fill the 90 millilitres cup for the sample.

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