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    AIL Player in drug suspension

    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/...309292825.html

    DRUGS: IRISH SPORTS COUNCIL RULING:
    MICHAEL CARROLL of Blackrock College RFC received a 12-month suspension yesterday from the Irish Sports Council for testing positive for methylhexaneamine (MHA) after the Division One A match against Clontarf at Stradbrook on October 1st.

    Carroll will not be appealing and the general manner in which he has reacted to the suspension provides an insight into the 30- year-old’s character.
    The former Connacht and Racing Métro 92 player pleaded guilty to inadvertently ingesting the banned substance, which was in an energy drink called “1 More Rep”, that he purchased in Dún Laoghaire.
    When informed he was in violation of Sports Council anti-doping rule 2.1, he even waived the right to have his ‘B’ sample tested.
    “It was a mistake on my part, but I should have known better, really,” Carroll told The Irish Times. “There is a standard across the board for an amateur rugby player like me up to someone like Usain Bolt in the Olympics.
    “The rules are there in black and white, when you look at them. I know the onus is on the individual.”
    That was the problem; he didn’t look at them. He didn’t read the “1 More Rep” label and is paying a dear price for it now. Club captain this season, while his father Declan is president, Blackrock have been unable to select one of their prized possessions since the IRFU imposed a provisional suspension on October 25th.
    “I would never have thought this could happen to me. I consider myself a decent person who had a good rugby career. I regret it, but it has happened so I just have to deal with it.”
    The disciplinary hearing took place on November 23rd with the decision passed yesterday by the sports council panel of Helen Kilroy, Martin Walsh and Seán McCague, the former president of the GAA. The panel accepted that Carroll did not show any intent to enhance his performance.
    They accepted that he believed it was a energy drink, containing no prohibited substances, to combat feelings of fatigue brought on by trying to balance work and amateur rugby.
    “The panel considered Mr Carroll’s evidence and found him to be a credible and honest witness,” they stated. “He fairly answered the questions put to him, without hesitation, including questions unfavourable to him.”
    Not only will Carroll not be appealing, but he has already embraced this opportunity to ensure other players don’t make the same mistake.
    “I have done my research since it happened. I tell my team-mates to watch out because it can be sold under so many different names and sometimes they are not listed,” he said.
    “Obviously, the younger lads who are taking supplements will see what happened and take it on board now. I know they have because they are asking me more questions and they are now more aware of the complete prohibited list.
    “Hopefully, it will carry on to other clubs and there will be more of a proactive approach taken to it, rather than reactive after me.”
    Carroll also noted a source of the supplements problem in Irish rugby – the schools system. There will be testing of schools players during the upcoming provincial cup competitions.
    “As terrible and all as it is for me to be banned, I’m at the saturation end of my rugby playing life cycle. It is probably better, not that it is ever better, for an old fella like me to make this mistake rather than an up and coming player who is looking for a professional contract.
    “And I hope the IRFU, the Leinster Branch, the clubs and the schools step up a couple of gears in educating young kids about this.
    “It is an issue within the schools now. Lads from a young age aren’t just happy hitting the gym. They are taking supplements. There is pressure to be bigger, stronger and faster, to be better rugby players, so these supplements are widely available and they really do need to be educated about what they are taking because going back to my research after the incident there is so much stuff out there on the market that is on the prohibited list and is readily available. And they just need to be wise to it because for this to happen to a young lad it would be a black cloud over his career. It would always follow him. Something definitely needs to be done in that regard.”
    Carroll intends to return and play for Blackrock next season, but a more pressing problem is whether he can continue to coach Wicklow RFC. Anti-doping rule 10.8.1.1 may cause a problem here.
    “I don’t know as of yet, but that would hurt more than not playing because we are having such a great season. We are top of the league. I would hate to let the Wicklow lads down if I couldn’t coach.”
    More than anything, he has felt humbled by the response of rugby people to his situation these past few months. “I have to say the support has been immense. I’ve been quite surprised by the reaction of the rugby fraternity around the country.
    “I think the best way to deal with it was to be open about it, because if you hide these things people start talking in Chinese whispers and you never know what could end up being said about you.”

    #2
    Fair dues to him for coming clean and for shining a light on the schools.
    There seems to be a lot of MHA abuse about.
    That was the stuff Chiliboy Ralepelle was done for
    Hibernicis natione, Mumhan per gratiam Dei

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      #3
      good on him for using the experience to try and help others. seems genuine
      "Some people don't know their easy lives... I wouldn't be so ungrateful" - Fiacre Ryan - #AutismAndMe

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        #4
        Forgive me for not joining in the praise here but a former Connacht and Racing Metro player doesn't know that in his position you don't just go and buy something called "1 more rep" over the counter? Sorry but that strikes me as ridiculous. The name would make you think "what's in this then". At the very least it's a very dumb thing for a guy with his experience and in his position to do. Apart from anything else surely Blackrock would have an advisor he could have asked for what to get rather than just go and buy something with a dodgy name?

        Rather than diverting this onto the schools system maybe the question to be asked is does it reflect too slack an attitude generally about supplements and quick fixes? Is he the only one doing something this stupid?
        Last edited by Evil Omer; 21st-December-2011, 21:05.
        \"A million monkeys with a million crayons would be hard-pressed in a million years to create anything as cretinous as Battlefield Earth.\"

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