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"It's not a strong enough argument to make as a means to justify not signing up to a revised testing conditions"


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Government grants owed to GAA players are currently being withheld until they agree to submit to drug testing in their homes.

At present, the Gaelic Players Association have not signed up to the Sport Ireland directives which includes supplying home addresses to drug testers.

Those developments has faced criticism from some quarters. Tonight on Off The Ball, we got the take of former Olympic race walker Colin Griffin.

"I think the same conditions in terms of compliance to anti-doping should apply to all sports, regardless of how much you're paid and how much you're funded or whether you're funded at all," said the Leitrim native.

Griffin feels the utmost needs to be done to safeguard any sport from the threat of doping, whether it is officially amateur or professional.

"There's always the risk of isolated cases in any sport and I think it's important that the players, I suppose, act to protect their sport and do everything possible to at least make it difficult for any of these positive cases to happen," he said.

"A lot of athletes who are in Olympic sports who are supported by the Sports Council and the Institute of Sport are funded to different degrees or not funded at all; not everyone is a full time athlete or professionally paid, a lot of them have full time jobs or are in third level education and have families. 

"Again, it is quite disruptive to be tested at home but I think it's a small price to pay to ensure that the integrity of your sport and your performances are protected."

He added that the argument over amateurism "shouldn't really come into it" in this debate.

"Because what is professionalism? To me, you set an example by living a professional life but you might not necessarily be a paid professional and I think there's an important difference there and I just don't think it's a strong enough argument to make as a means to justify not signing up to a revised testing conditions," he said. 


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