O’Sullivan says contaminated supplement caused positive test

A contaminated supplement has been cited by Brendan O’Sullivan as the reason why the Kerry footballer failed a doping test last year.

News of the positive test and the identity of the player only broke on Saturday when Kerry confirmed that the Valentia man had served a suspension, which supposedly was less than a 12-month ban, arising from a test following the Division 1 final.

He admitted that there was a banned substance in his urine sample.

However, it has yet to be explained why the case has only come to light now and why a penalty has been served when it is believed to have been deemed ‘pending’ by Sport Ireland.

Kerry GAA’s statement read: “On the 24th of April 2016 Brendan O’ Sullivan (Valentia Young Islanders & Kerry) underwent a routine Sport Ireland doping control test following the Allianz League final.

The results of the test indicated a rule violation.

“Brendan O’Sullivan fully cooperated in assisting Sport Ireland. The subsequent findings of Sport Ireland accepted that the rule violation was not intentional and the resultant suspension has been served. Sport Ireland is expected to deliver a written decision shortly.

“All involved with Kerry GAA are delighted to see Brendan back playing football. Kerry County Committee and Team Management will be making no further comments until the Sport Ireland report has been issued.”

The Sport Ireland report is expected to be released in the coming days, which will hopefully shed further light on the situation.

O’Sullivan was used primarily as an impact substitute during last season’s league campaign, coming on against Dublin in the Division 1 final but was never listed during Kerry’s championship before reappearing in this year’s Division 1 opener against Donegal as a replacement.

Sport Ireland recommends against the use of supplements.

Their website reads: “Sport Ireland recommends against the use of sports supplements for the following reasons: “We believe that a correct dietary and nutritional regime will provide all the potential benefits of sports supplements. We believe that, given the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) principle of strict liability, elite athletes are opening up the possibility of inadvertent positive tests by taking supplements. We believe it is inappropriate for any junior athlete or player to be taking supplements that could have an impact on their physical development.”

O’Sullivan is the second Kerry footballer to record a positive test after Aidan O’Mahony in 2008 due to high levels of salbutamol.

However, it was agreed they were consistent with use of an inhaler, which O’Mahony took as an asthma sufferer.

Last year, Monaghan panellist Thomas Connolly admitted to take stanozolol, a banned anabolic steroid, but claimed he did not know that the pills he was taking contained it.

His evidence was considered and used in mitigation as he was handed down a two- year suspension instead of a four-year one. Last weekend, the42.ie revealed that five teams missed drugs tests since 2015 – Dublin hurlers, Mayo and Armagh footballers in ’15 and Kilkenny’s hurlers and Carlow’s footballers (twice) in ’16. Kilkenny, Carlow and Armagh explained change in training venues as reasons. Inter-county players are required to be available for drugs tests as part of their Government funding.

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