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Carlow footballer denies wrongdoing over four-year doping ban

The Gaelic Players Association have released the following statement on behalf of Ray Walker:

My name is Ray Walker.  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 4-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.

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I am accepting the 4-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 wrong doing 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.

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