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Published: 10:08 | 17/2/16

Cavanagh: Players taking a chance

Sean Cavanagh fears some inter-county players are using banned substances to give them an advantage.

The GAA introduced new anti-doping measures on January 1 which allows for players to provide both blood and urine samples in a bid to cut down the time it takes for the test to be completed.

Out of the 95 GAA players that were tested in 2015 just one case returned positive but Cavanagh believes there are players willing to risk their careers by taking substances containing banned substances.

"You know, five, six, seven, eight years ago, whenever we were tested, 10 years ago, the worst thing you could probably fall foul of is a dodgy Lemsip," Cavanagh explained.

"Nowadays there's that much proteins, branched chain amino acids - I don't even understand half the stuff the boys are taking to be honest.

"I suppose you have to recognise that there is a risk there and guys are taking that chance. I have no doubt there are players out there who are probably taking the chance. You have to accept that you do want that level playing field. I don't have an issue with the doping (tests) as such. It's just the way in which it is done."

Cavanagh believes some of it comes down to the fact that players are not educated properly about what is legal.

"There’s that much available out there in terms of supplements. A lot of guys just aren’t educated enough to know what they can and can’t take and there’s that many things on the internet, some of them saying they are ‘batch tested’ and what not," he is quoted as saying in the Irish Examiner.

"It’s a complete minefield at the moment. I’m not into all that, I’m still stuck in the Tracker Bar and Jaffa Cake era of 10 years ago! But look, some guys are hugely into it nowadays so I’d say there probably is a chance, whether purposefully or not, that there are guys that are playing that have something in the system that shouldn’t be there. That’s just a fact of life."

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