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Three Irish Tug Of War Athletes Fail Doping Tests
In the last few minutes the Irish Sports Council have announced that three Irish Tug of War competitors have failed doping tests after an event in New Ross. All three men have admitted to the violation which they say was unintentional.
Frank Egan, Chris Egan and Michael Carty, athletes affiliated to the Irish Tug of War Association have committed an anti-doping rule violation. A prohibited substance, namely methylhexaneamine (MHA), was found in samples of urine given by each of them during in-competition testing in July in New Ross.
The Irish Sport Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel, in a decision dated September 17, imposed a period of ineligibility of 18 months on the three athletes, which commenced on July 29, 2012, the date on which the violation occurred.
The three athletes competed as part of one tug of war team at the event. They were representing the G & B Club, an amalgamation of Gortletetteragh of Leitrim and Ballygar of Galway. In the course of the competition they consumed a drink which it subsequently emerged was a mixture of water and a sports supplement. This was established as the origin of the prohibited substance, which was listed on the ingredients of the source product as geranium oil/ geranamine.
Messrs Egan, Egan and Carty gave evidence that they were not aware that their drink contained a sport supplement. The three athletes admitted the violation, which they said was inadvertent and unintentional, and did not ask for the “B” sample to be tested.
MHA is a “Specified Substance” under the Rules which allows for a reduction in sanction in certain circumstances.
The Panel took into consideration the oral evidence provided by the athletes which sought to explain the chain of events that led to the positive tests. In deciding the sanction the Panel also gave regard to the timely admission by the athletes of the offence which is both an acknowledgement of wrongdoing and avoids unnecessary delay and expense.
The hearing was held under Article 8 (Disciplinary Process) of the Irish Anti-Doping Rules and this announcement is made pursuant to Article 15 (Public Disclosure) of the Rules. The hearing of the Disciplinary Panel took place on August 29. The 14 day period for appeals expired on October 2.
There have been numerous Irish doping violations in recent years but is this one of the most unusual doping violation you have ever heard of in any sport?