Player expenses to be paid as GPA agree with anti-doping procedures

Players must now provide home addresses in order to qualify for scheme

Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

 

The Gaelic Players Association (GPA) have ended their stand-off with Sport Ireland over anti-doping testing procedures, which means players must now provide their home addresses in order the qualify for the players expenses scheme, worth €2.3 million this year.

Until now, for the some 2,000 intercounty players in Ireland currently part of a senior panel, the anti-doping rules were different compared to other sports under Sport Ireland, in that players could only be tested at training or at matches, not at home.

Sport Ireland had informed the GPA last December that, from next year, home addresses of players would also be required under their anti-doping agreement, although initially for the purposes of intelligence only.

The GPA declined to agree and with that Sport Ireland withheld payment of the player expenses scheme: the latest €6.9 million deal was announced in 2016, a significant upgrade on previous years.

Last year, €1.6 million was paid out, rising to €2.3 million in 2018, and €3 million in 2019: that will work out at €970 to €2,227 for each player this year, depending on how far their county progress in the championship.

According to a joint statement, “the GAA and Sport Ireland confirm that the outstanding matters in relation to the anti-doping addendum to the inter-county player eligible expenses schemes have been resolved to the satisfaction of all parties. The 2018 payment of state grants will be made in the coming days, while details of the application process for the next round of funding will be communicated to inter-county players in the coming weeks.”

All players must also now confirm completion of the GAA’s Anti-Doping e-learning course or attendance at an anti-doping education session conducted by the GAA on or before March 31st of the year in respect of which funding is payable (i.e. by March 31st 2019 for players partaking in the 2019 Championship season);

Under the agreed addendum to the inter-county player eligible expenses schemes, the following anti-doping rules now apply:

1 Players shall comply with and be bound by the Irish Anti-Doping Rules;

2 Players shall participate in the Irish Sports Anti-Doping Programme and undertake, as required, anti-doping testing, including the taking of blood and/or urine sample, in competition or out of competition;

3 Players shall understand that a refusal to submit to a test will have the same consequences as if the player had tested positive;

4 Players shall know the substances and methods which have been included in the Prohibited List (as may be amended from time to time) and to take responsibility to make sure that any substance ingested by the player does not violate the Irish Anti-Doping Rules;

5 Any player on a county panel shall not be eligible to apply for or to receive funding under the Sport Ireland Inter-County Player Support Scheme unless the following pre-conditions are met:

a) He can confirm completion of the GAA’s Anti-Doping e-learning course or attendance at an anti-doping education session conducted by the GAA on or before March 31st of the year in respect of which funding is payable (i.e. March 31st 2019 for players partaking in the 2019 Championship season);

b) That his residential address information is provided to the GAA on or before 31st March 31st of the year in respect of which funding is payable.

6 Any player who joins an intercounty panel after March 31st of the year in respect of which funding is payable, shall prior to his first championship game, confirm completion of the GAA’s Anti-Doping e-learning course or attendance at an anti-doping education session conducted by the GAA and his residential address information shall be provided to the GAA as pre-conditions to eligibility for receipt of funding under the Sport Ireland Inter-County Player Support Scheme.

It is, in addition, confirmed that Sport Ireland shall be entitled, subject to compliance with the requirements of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), to request from the GAA, and the GAA shall be entitled to release to Sport Ireland, a player’s residential address information for the exclusive purpose of anti-doping intelligence.

Any request for and any transmission of a player’s residential information shall be subject to compliance with the requirements of GDPR.

It is acknowledged that a constituent element of any consent given to the GAA by a player in respect of the use of his residential address information shall provide for the potential onward transmission of that data by the GAA to Sport Ireland where the purposes of anti-doping intelligence so demand.

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