The Irish Sports Council reported that there were eight anti-doping rule violations in 2012.

Four of these violations arose from a substance found in supplements and four were related to cannabis .

The national programme saw 787 tests carried out across 31 sports in 2012. This is a decrease from previous years, but the Irish Sports Council says this is due to "a more targeted programme".

Information was also published on 'Whereabouts Failures.'

For individual sports there were 18 'Filing Failures' and three 'Missed Tests'.

Three indiscretions of this kind can lead to an athlete receiving a sanction - to date this has not occurred.

In team sports, there were 12 missed tests. Eight of those tests were missed by GAA teams.

Speaking at the publication of the findings, Professor Brendan Buckley, Chairman of the Anti-Doping Committee said: "The results highlight clearly where the problems remain.

"We see positive tests arising from the use of supplements which contain banned substances; this is something we have warned about repeatedly. Also, cannabinoids remain on the prohibited list and competitive athletes should avoid or risk sanctions."

John Treacy, CEO of the Irish Sports Council added: "We have worked very hard on improving the compliance with the 'whereabouts system'

"Progress has been made in some areas but there is still room for improvement. We are very pleased with the progress made in the blood testing programme.

"Overall we are working towards a more targeted intelligence-led approach to testing and there were important developments in this regard in 2012."