Barnsley failed to do their homework on O'Connor's drug ban

 

Garry O'Connor was not asked by Barnsley about his secret cocaine ban, it emerged yesterday. The Scottish striker was twice loaned to Barnsley from Birmingham last season, before signing permanently at Oakwell. Barnsley director Rod Dowling said on Channel 4's Dispatches on Monday that he did not know about O'Connor's two-month cocaine-ban from 2009, and that had he known Barnsley would not have signed him. But a simple administrative procedure, common to many clubs, would have revealed O'Connor's past had it been followed.

Clubs interested in the drugs history of their new players can easily find out. Clubs ask players to sign a form permitting them to access the relevant FA doping control records. Had Barnsley done so, O'Connor's two-month ban would have been revealed. When asked yesterday whether they had done this, a Barnsley spokesman said he had "no idea".

Barnsley could also have asked Birmingham City, from whom they loaned O'Connor but did not do so. Medical disclosures accompanying transfers are a matter not for the governing bodies but for the clubs involved. Had Barnsley asked Birmingham they would have had little option but to reveal the ban after O'Connor's positive test on 19 October 2009.

O'Connor's ban was only publicly revealed by Dispatches on Monday evening. Until then it had been secret, in keeping with the FA's confidentiality rule on non-matchday positive tests for recreational drugs. This rule allows players to seek treatment, and sources familiar with O'Connor's troubles said yesterday that he continues to seek assistance for his personal problems.

Dowling had said on Dispatches that they had "no knowledge" from Birmingham City or elsewhere of O'Connor's secret ban, and that had they known they would not have signed him, out of a concern to "project the right image". O'Connor played 23 games for Barnsley last season. His appearances were spread across two separate autumn loan moves, and a permanent deal signed in December.

O'Connor rejoined his first club Hibernian this summer, for whom he has already scored four goals this season. He appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court this month, accused of possessing cocaine.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before