Performance Enhancing Hurls: The GAA’s Secret Shame


“LADS come in all the time looking for the ash to be laced with nandrolone, or even some cocaine. The hurls on cocaine are easy to spot on TV, they’re the ones that strike out at lads after the players square up”.

Cillian Corcoran doesn’t even hide it. Brazenly selling hurls laced with performance enhancing drugs at a local under 7s camogie match. WWN wishes this was the most unpalatable element of our recent investigation into performance enhancing hurls, but this epidemic has GAA rotten to the core.

“Ah, quit your moaning, everyone is doing it boi,” one of the Camogie player’s fathers tells me as he hands over a crisp €500 note for just one hurl, said to be absolutely caked with PEDs.

“Some lads douse their hurls in protein shakes, the fucking eejits. It makes next to no difference,” Corcoran tells me from behind his impressive pitch-side stall of hurls for sale.

“Fellas will feel the hurl is lacking in some way and then come to me, and the GAA is years behind in terms of testing for drugs in hurls so there’s no fear of getting caught,” Corcoran explained as he handed me what looked like a normal hurl.

“Gwan there and take her for a spin,” he encouraged, and before I knew what was what, I had entered the field of play of the St Judes v Ballyfinn Finn Gaels under 7s Camogie match and absolutely slaughtered them, scoring 7-7.

Ignoring the fact I am an able bodied 35-year-old man for a moment, the drugged-up hurls contribution cannot be overstated. But what of the side effects?

“Ah, now ash is a resistant wood, don’t come round here peddling your lies about ‘it’s bad for the wood’, the hurls love it,” Corcoran spat at me, rising to an anger that was intimidating.

WWN pressed Corcoran to reveal the identities of the hurlers who came to him, seeking to give their hurls the advantage.

“Sure, I wouldn’t know them from Adam. I couldn’t pick them out in a police line up, sure any time I see them on TV they’ve their helmets on”. The perfect crime. With Corcoran selling to helmet-less men who then take the field in helmets, making them unrecognisable, he was free from implicating anyone should the Gardaí come knocking on his door.

The GAA refused to provide comment for this story, but the presence of hurls on enough steroids to hit a point for 90 yards out is set to continue.