Players should not be allowed to compete at inter-county level until they have undergone an anti-doping education programme, according to the GAA Director-General Paraic Duffy.

"It’s really important, we are working on it. Our players have a very good record of keeping the game clean," Duffy said speaking at the release of his 11th and final annual report at Croke Park.

"A player [should be] prohibited from playing on an inter-county team until he has certification that he has completed an acceptable anti-doping programme."

"There is an awful lot of players coming in [after the season starts].

"You need to have some sort of system where before a player joins a county panel he has to have done an anti-doping education programme so he knows what the risks are.

"If he comes in a week after the education [he could have problems].

"All our players are subject to the Irish anti-doping rules, and the GAA is fully committed to the maintenance of hurling and football as drug-free sports."

Duffy also confirmed that GAA players have been blood-tested and that the organisation is signed up to the provisions of the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Last year it emerged that Kerry player Brendan O'Sullivan served 11 weeks of a 21-week ban after testing positive for the banned stimulant methylhexaneamine (MHA), which he ingested via a tainted supplement

Duffy added: "After an anti-doping finding against a player in 2015, the GAA developed a revised Anti-Doping Education strategy.

"In November of that year, three GAA and three GPA representatives were trained by Sport Ireland as anti-doping tutors to assist in its implementation.

"This was the first time that Sport Ireland had offered national governing bodies the opportunity to train anti-doping tutors. In October 2016, a further nine

"GAA representatives were trained by Sport Ireland and in 2017 seminars were delivered to 34 senior inter-county panels. By early 2018 each county will have at least one trained anti-doping tutor."

The Monaghan native also highlighted a possible solution to the problem of dummy teams, whereby managers are announcing teams during the week and then starting with a number of changes to the side, the understanding being that the named player(s) has suffered an injury between the declaration and the throw-in.

"If a change is made to the starting 15 after the deadline, that change should be made to count as one of the six substitutions that a team may make during the game," he said.

"That would fix it. I think it's an excellent idea. I'm just throwing it out there."

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