At a Regulatory Commission hearing today Sheffield United goalkeeper Paddy Kenny was suspended from all football for a period of nine months.
Kenny was charged under FA Rule E25 in relation to Regulation 2 of the FA Doping Control Programme Regulations in that the presence of a prohibited substance (Ephedrine) was found in a routine sample following the match versus Preston North End FC on 11th May 2009. Mr Kenny was suspended by the Club (Sheffield United FC) on 4th June 2009 and then from all football and football activities by The FA from 22nd July 2009.
Having admitted the charge, the Members of the Commission heard and considered expert evidence and detailed submissions. Taking into consideration all that it heard and read, it reached the following decisions:
1. Mr Kenny committed a doping offence, namely the presence in his urine sample of ephedrine at a concentration of greater than 10ug/ml
2. That Mr Kenny's use of ephedrine was not intended to enhance sporting performance
3. The appropriate penalty imposed for this doping offence is a period of suspension from all football and football activities for a period of nine months
4. The suspension to become effective from the date The Football Association suspension of the player, namely 22nd July 2009
5. He shall be subject to 'target testing' for a period of two years with immediate effect
6. The hearing fee was retained and he was ordered to pay costs of the hearing
The Regulatory Commission Chairman Christopher Quinlan stated after the hearing: "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.
"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."