GAA set to introduce blood testing in 2016

Blood-testing will be rolled out as part of the 2016 anti-doping programme

The GAA has confirmed that blood and urine testing for inter county players will be introduced for the first time as part of the 2016 Anti-Doping programme rolled out by Sport Ireland.

Urine testing, which is already in place, will be use alongside the newly-introduced blood testing system.

Ger Ryan, the Chairman of the Medical Scientific and Welfare Committee, believes the move was inevitable given the fact that is is in line with what Ireland's biggest sporting stars have been doing for years.

Ryan said, "The GAA has worked closely with Sport Ireland on this and the programme that will be rolled out – while meeting with Sport Ireland’s requirements in this regard - has been designed taking careful consideration of the unique circumstances of our amateur players, their support personnel and our team and training structures."

The introduction of such measures is to ensure all players are on a level playing field. Ryan also said, "The GAA had formulated a new four year Anti-Doping Education Strategy for all levels of the Association to complement its existing initiatives, and that the main focus of this in 2016 would be on senior inter county panels and support personnel.”