Jim Gavin chose the platform of Dublin’s fourth consecutive Allianz football league title win to launch a surprise attack on GAA drug-testing procedures.
Gavin’s side etched their names in history at Croke Park as the first team since the Kerry side of the early 1970s to claim spring silverware four seasons in a row.
But the two-time All-Ireland-winning manager moved to play down the achievement afterwards, pointing out that the competition ranks lower than the provincial championships and the All-Ireland series.
He instead turned his focus towards anti-doping measures. Speaking after watching the GAA’s Laochra show, a commemoration of the 1916 Rising, which followed the Division 1 final, he lamented the fact that four players, two from either side, were unable to enjoy the entertainment as they were taken away to provide samples for drug testers.
“We don’t want cheats in our game, that’s the first thing to say about it and obviously the main thing to mention,” said Gavin. “But I think it could be better managed. They are amateur players. Immediately after games, in my opinion, it’s not appropriate. They all want to enjoy the success and then for the other team, after losing the game, I think the last thing they need is somebody coming down to have an invasive procedure take place.
“They could pick a time during the week of the game. They could pop out to us or they could do it afterwards because every team now would surely have some recovery programme going on the day after the game. So there is plenty of opportunities to get your samples where you need them.
“Today, we have four players there from the teams and Laochra was taking place outside and they were in the dungeons of the stadium, being closed off and they didn’t have access to the entertainment. It just doesn’t sit right.
“The actors, well, they are the athletes that people came to watch today and for them to be treated that way, I don’t think it’s appropriate.”
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