One violation in Sport Ireland's 2018 anti-doping review

By Steve Neville

Sport Ireland has released their anti-doping review for 2018, revealing that 1,112 tests were carried out last year.

The organisation recorded just one anti-doping violation for the whole year.

That violation was recorded in boxing during an in-competition test.

Dublin bantamweight Evan Metcalfe tested for carboxy-THC and served a four-month ban.

Sport Ireland's annual review shows the number of tests completed is 12% higher than in 2017.

Rugby is now the second most tested sport, with only cycling featuring higher.

179 tests were carried out in cycling, with 178 in rugby.

Athletics (164 tests) was the sport with the third most tests, followed by the GAA (139). Soccer had 42 tests in 2018.

Of the 1,112 tests, 775 were urine tests while 337 where blood tests.

80% of tests were taken out of competition.

The number of approved therapeutic use exemptions dropped from 27 to 24, but rugby still heads that table with six TUE application approvals last year.

A TUE "allows an athlete to use a prohibited substance or method that is included on the WADA Prohibited List, subject to certain defined conditions".

There were 58 TUE applications in total 2018, a 28% drop from 2017.

Rugby's six approved TUE applications was followed by soccer (4), and cycling, golf and shooting (all 2).

The report did record an increase in whereabout failures - the figure rising to 17, from 12 in 2017

A whereabout failure is a failure by an athlete to inform testers where they will be.

Speaking at the launch of the report, the Chair of Sport Ireland’s Anti-Doping Committee Caroline Murphy, said: "The continued success of our national anti-doping programme is due to the continued co-operation of our athletes and National Governing Bodies.

She added: "Our athletes, of all levels, continue to represent Ireland and themselves with great honesty and integrity and I thank them for their continued cooperation."

Minister for Sport Shane Ross stated: "Sport Ireland continues to operate a robust testing programme, supported by a strong education programme which is equally as important.

"Clean athletes want and deserve a fair sporting landscape - we must constantly strive to deliver this."

Read the full Sport Ireland Anti-Doping review here.

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