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In July 2001, the GAA agreed to begin drug testing senior Inter-County players as part of an agreement with the Irish Sports Council and their policy to cooperate with the international anti-doping campaign administered by the World Anti-Doping Association (WADA). The GAA believe that doping is contrary to the spirit of sport and every member has a duty to ensure that the sport is free of doping. This information sheet provides up-to-date information from World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), Irish Sports Council (ISC) and GAA rules and regulations in the area of doping.

All Inter-County players may be selected for testing. Indeed it is a condition of eligibility for the Government Eligible Expense Scheme. All county team personnel (players, doctors, managers, coaches, physiotherapists, nutritionists, psychologists, officials etc…) have a responsibility to ensure that they are aware of the Irish Anti-Doping Rules and that there is an atmosphere supporting a drug free sport within each County.

A complete copy of the Irish Anti-Doping Rules can be found by clicking here.


The following sections highlight key areas with regard to anti-doping. The Medical, Scientific and Welfare Committee advise all members to read and understand the Anti-Doping Rules and to understand your responsibilities under the rules. The consequences of not adhering to Anti-Doping Rules can be severe for athletes and their support personnel such as coaches and parents; therefore it is critical that any questions/concerns be clarified with either Croke Park or the ISC.


Irish Anti-Doping Rules
The Medical, Scientific & Welfare Committee in conjunction with Central Council have adapted the Irish Anti-Doping Rules as the Anti-Doping Rules of the GAA.

GAA Official Guide
Riail 1.15 Treoir Oifigiúil 2013 Part I states:
‘The Association forbids the use of prohibited substances or methods, a practice generally known as doping in sport. The Rules of the Association regarding doping are the Irish Anti-Doping Rules as adopted by the Irish Sports Council and as amended from time to time. The Rules contained in the said Irish Anti-Doping Rules shall have effect and be construed as Rules of the Association. Central Council shall establish a committee known as the Anti-Doping Hearings Committee. Pursuant to an agreement made between Central Council and the Irish Sports Council, for the purposes of this Rule and the Irish Anti-Doping Rules, all references to the Irish Sport Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel in the Irish Anti-Doping Rules shall be construed as referring to the Anti-Doping Hearings Committee. International Units shall comply with the Anti-Doping legislation in their respective Countries of operation. Central Council shall establish a committee known as the Doping Control Committee and shall designate to it such functions of the Association in relation to the prevention of doping in the games of the Association as it deems suitable.’

Full details on the Irish Anti-Doping Programme are available at:


In principle, any player competing in Inter-County Gaelic games can be tested so each athlete regardless of the level at which they are competing needs to be aware of the anti-doping rules.

(1) WADA Prohibited List – Checking Medications & TUE Policy
The World Anti-Doping Agency issues a Prohibited List annually. For information on the Prohibited List click here.

Note: Recreational Drugs are tested in-competition.
Check the status of over-the-counter and prescribed medications in relation to the Prohibited List, based on where you purchase the medication:

Republic of Ireland:

Drugs in Sport Database on

For instant access to the Drugs in Sport Database, download the free 'Medication Checker' App available for iPhone and Android for Eirpharm - find it in the Apple iTunes Store or the Google Play Store

Medications bought in the Republic of Ireland can be checked by your G.P., Consultant or Pharmacist in a monthly publication called MIMS Ireland. Ensure the current months edition is checked.

Northern Ireland/ UK/ Canada/ USA:

Medications bought in Northern Ireland, U.K., U.S.A and Canada can be checked on

For further information, click here

If a medication is prohibited, you must check and adhere to the Irish Sports Council TUE Policy at


(2) Sample Collection Procedures
For information on the Sample Collection Procedures that are adhered to when athletes are tested, the following resources are available:
Click here to find out what happens in a drugs test
• Read the leaflet ‘Sample Collection Procedures – Urine and Blood, click here
• Check out the e-learning programme Real Winner


(3) Supplements
A substantial amount of misinformation exists regarding optimal strategies for achieving peak athletic performance and health. Many ‘nutritional’ products are sold under the pretence that they hold the secret to enhancing performance, however, it must be noted that these typically lack research and sport medicine literature is filled with cases of athletes who have used such products with negative unintended consequences. There is no substitute for matching good food intake with nutrition needs. Proper nutrition supports training and can improve performance, whereas improper nutrition can be detrimental to performance. A well-planned eating strategy will help any training programme, whether you are training for fitness or for competition; promote efficient recovery between workouts; reduce the risk of illness or overtraining; and help you to achieve your best performance.

Athletes need to be aware that there are risks associated with the use of sports supplements with many positive drug tests associated with their use. For more information, read the Irish Sports Council Supplements and Sports Food Policy by clicking here

Useful fact sheets in relation to supplements are available on the Institute of Sport website at:

Irish Institute of Sport - Performance Nutrition



GAA Anti-Doping e-Booklet

Supplements and Sports Foods Policy

WADA 2013 Prohibited List

WADA 2013 Monitoring Programme

Summary of modifications to the 2013 Prohibited List

Important Fact Sheets


Check out for further information on these topics or to order education resources for you and your Club, click here.


For any queries regarding anti-doping in the GAA please contact:

Name: Ruairí Harvey

Tel: (0) 1 865 8685


Anti-Doping Officer - Feargal Mc Gill


The Irish Sports Council Anti-Doping Unit can also be contacted directly at:
Anti Doping Unit
Irish Sports Council
Top Floor, Block A
Westend Office Park,
Dublin 15.
Tel: 00353 1 8608800



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