Sheffield United keeper Paddy Kenny has been suspended from football for nine months by the Football Association following a failed drugs test. The 31-year-old tested positive for the prohibited substance Ephedrine and he will now not be allowed to participate in any football until April 22, 2010.
The FA Regulatory Commission confirmed that although Kenny had 'on the balance of probability' not intentionally taken the substance - which is believed to have come from a cough medicine - they could not overlook the offence.
"The Regulatory Commission considered carefully the evidence and the submissions from both parties. Whilst we found that the Player satisfied us on the balance of probabilities that the substance was not taken with the intention of enhancing sporting performance, his admitted conduct displayed significant fault," chairman Christopher Quinlan stated.
"A professional sportsman including a football player has a strict responsibility to ensure prohibited substances do not enter his/her body.
"In this instance Mr Kenny knowingly ingested an over-the-counter medicine above the prescribed dosage without reading the accompanying package or leaflet and without reference to his club's doctor or other medical staff.
"It is incumbent upon all professional footballers to understand the perils and dangers of so doing and to act in the way he did, contrary to the Doping Control Programme delivered by The FA and in any event what should be a matter of common sense for a professional sportsman, showed in our judgment a complete disregard for those responsibilities."