Carlow footballer Ray Walker confirms four-year ban for anti-doping violation
"I want to put the following on the record... "
O'Hanrahan's GAA Club and Carlow inter-county footballer Ray Walker has made public that he has been banned for four years after an anti-doping punishment.
Walker, through the Gaelic Players Association, has released a statement with what he says is his side of the story. The statement, in full, reads:
'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 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 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.'