A Carlow intercounty footballer has confirmed that he has received a four-year ban for an anti-doping violation.
Ray Walker has confirmed this evening that he has received a four-year ban which will apply to both county and club commitments.
Reports emerged in recent days that an inter-county GAA player was at the centre of an anti-doping violation.
Walker released the following statement via the Gaelic Player’s Association (GPA) where he explains that he ingested the prohibited substance unintentionally.
“My name is Ray Walker,” the statement began.
“I am 35 years old and returned to the Carlow senior football panel last November following a long absence. I am the player who is at the centre of recent reports about an anti-doping violation.
“In light of the four-year ban which I now have to serve, which ends my inter-county career, and most likely my club involvement given my age, I want to put the following on the record.
“I did not intentionally take any banned substance. Anything that was found in my system was there completely unintentionally. I cannot explain for sure how the substance came to be in my system but I was taking anti-inflammatories for a lower stomach issue around the time of the test.
“I am accepting the four-year ban because I want this episode over and done with and, at 35, even a lesser ban would still mean I was unlikely to ever return to playing.
“It is not an admission of intentional wrongdoing on my part in any way.
“Finally, from the time that I re-joined the Carlow panel in November to the time the test took place in February, I did not receive any anti-doping training or education.
“I will be making no further comment on this matter and would appreciate that the media would respect my privacy in this regard.”
More to follow…