Tipperary confirm fines for players missing mandatory drugs tests

Sports Council should have been told players not due at training on night in question

Secretary Tim Floyd has confirmed the Tipperary County Board was fined €500 when players were absent for mandatory drugs tests last year. He admitted he should have notified the Irish Sports Council that the Tipperary players would not be present at their training base on the night in question, in March 2013, but explained the planned session may have been called off at short notice.

Floyd told Tipp FM: “Take last week. Our senior hurlers did not train. Eamon (O’Shea) left them back to their clubs. We would have notified the Sports Council – there is a text line or email where you are supposed to notify them that we wouldn’t be training or would have changed location.

“I’d probably have to put my hand up – it was probably my fault last year I didn’t notify them. But maybe I didn’t know either that they would have called off training on a particular night and I think that was the night the Sports Council happened to arrive down to do a test. The €500 fine covers their costs in coming down from Dublin to do the test.”

Meanwhile, former Galway player and manager Conor Hayes believes the side missed a glorious chance to end their All-Ireland senior hurling championship famine last year. Hayes captained the last Galway team to lift the Liam MacCarthy Cup in 1988. Galway have lost five finals since then.


Recent final
There most recent final appearance came against Kilkenny two years ago, when the latter emerged won after a replay. But Hayes was disappointed when Anthony Cunningham's men failed to build on that progress and bowed out of the 2013 championship against Clare at the quarter-final stage. Hayes said: "It's not beyond the bounds of possibility for Galway to reach this year's All-Ireland final. They're still one of the teams that are there or thereabouts but last year was an opportunity for them."

Hayes however, has detected a more "settled" look to the team this year, with full-back Ronan Burke and centre back Iarla Tannian occupying the pivotal defensive positions that have proven troublesome in recent years. And Hayes insisted returning captain Joe Canning must be played close to goal for maximum impact : "The closer to goals, the better. He's a real threat. I know that he worked out well around midfield for Portumna but you're at a different level there."