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Page last updated at 15:01 GMT, Thursday, 22 January 2009

O'Mahony cleared by doping panel

Aidan O'Mahony
Aidan O'Mahony tested positive for the use of Salbutamol

Kerry footballer Aidan O'Mahony has escaped any suspension despite his failed drugs test.

The GAA's anti-doping committee ruled that the levels of salbutamol found in his sample were "consistent with the inhalation of the substance".

"Its use was not intended to enhance his sporting performance or mask...a performance-enhancing substance," said a GAA statement on Thursday.

The committee did "reprimand" O'Mahony for his excess levels of salbutamol.

"The hearings committee considered that the dose inhaled was in excess of that authorised on the therapeutic use exemption form submitted in relation to the player," added the GAA statement.

The initial hearing into O'Mahony's case into December had to be adjourned with no conclusion having been reached.

The committee then reconvened last week before its decision was announced on Thursday. Former GAA president Sean McCague, Dr Pat O'Neill and Adrian Colton were the members of the three-man committee

GAA president Nickey Brennan said that he was "glad that the matter has now been finalised".

The committee have emphasised that their decision to issue a reprimand should not be interpreted as casting any aspersion on Aidan O'Mahony's integrity
GAA president Nickey Brennan

Brennan added that the members of the committee had been "extremely professional in their approach throughout and have shown enormous sensitivity and consideration".

The GAA president acknowledged that the matter had been "a very difficult time" for O'Mahony but added that the case emphasised the "importance of strict adherence to the provisions of the anti-doping rules in relation to asthmatics in particular".

"It is important to note that the committee have emphasised that their decision to issue a reprimand should not be interpreted as casting any aspersion on Aidan O'Mahony's integrity," continued the GAA president.

Brennan concluded by saying that he looked forward to seeing O'Mahony in action for Kerry in the upcoming Allianz National League.

O'Mahony failed a drugs test after last year's All-Ireland final against Tyrone after being found to have an increased level of salbutamol in his system.

The GAA had lifted the provisional suspension imposed on O'Mahony for a doping offence pending a full hearing of the case.

The Kerry captain was suspended following an initial finding that the level of the asthma-related drug salbutamol exceeded permitted levels.

O'Mahony uses an inhaler to treat his asthma condition and had denied any wrongdoing and vowed to clear his name.

Salbutamol is a widely-used treatment for asthma through an inhaler but players are only allowed to take the drug under controlled guidelines.

In accordance with the provisions of the Irish Anti-Doping Rules, the GAA were obliged to provisionally suspend the player involved pending the outcome of a hearing of the Anti-Doping Hearings Committee.

see also
Date fixed for O'Mahony hearing
11 Dec 08 |  Gaelic Games
Provisional O'Mahony ban lifted
21 Nov 08 |  Gaelic Games
Kerry 0-14 1-15 Tyrone
21 Sep 08 |  The Championship


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