Sean Dunnion, the Donegal county board chairman, said Patrick McBrearty had to be supported after being the victim of an alleged bite last year.
Dunnion was responding to criticisms from Paraic Duffy, the GAA’s Director General, of Donegal and Dublin on their input to the investigation.
A Dublin player was charged and given a three-match ban by the CCCC (Central Competition Controls Committee) but eventually cleared by the CHC (Central Hearings Committee) when McBrearty opted not to attend to give evidence following April’s Allianz League fixture in Ballybofey.
In his annual report to next month’s Congress, Duffy says the incident was “disgusting and shocking.”
He described it as “one of the low points of the year,” admitting that the mark sustained by McBrearty was “severe.”
Duffy said both counties succeeded “in damaging the reputation of the Association.”
Dunnion responded: “It was a very difficult time and the only evidence that could’ve been given was going to be given by Patrick McBrearty.
“Unfortunately, Patrick decided he didn’t want to attend and we had to support him and stand by him. It was a difficult decision too for a young player who was only 19 at the time.”
Duffy was also critical of “one county” who deferred their club championship.
Donegal manager Jim McGuinness suggested at a fixtures’ forum in September that the club championship should play a “round or two” before Donegal begin their Ulster championship.
But the clubs voted to defer the entire senior and intermediate championships until after Donegal’s participation in the All-Ireland series.
In November, Donegal officials were called to Croke Park to explain the matter, on foot of a complaint sent by the Medical, Scientific and Welfare sub committee.
“We’ve been at pains in the past to understand why we have been pointed on this one,” Dunnion said. “Everyone knows anecdotally this goes on in a large majority of the counties, particularly the counties who are successful.
“We’ve not broken any rules. It’s in the power of all CCC’s to run their fixtures as they see fit. Until they fix the master fixture plan and give us the Sundays throughout the year that allows us to do justice to the club player, there’s always going to be a difficulty.”