Kenny suspended over failed drugs test

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The Independent Online

Sheffield United have suspended their keeper Paddy Kenny after he tested positive for a banned drug, the club confirmed today.

Kenny is now facing a possible ban after a urine sample he provided following a play-off semi-final match against Preston in May tested positive for the stimulant ephedrine.

A Sheffield United spokesman said: "We can confirm that Paddy Kenny has been suspended by the club. This is an ongoing, confidential matter and as such we are unable to comment further."

The Republic of Ireland international will now be subject to a disciplinary inquiry by the Football Association and faces a range of possible sanctions from a reprimand up to a two-year ban.

Ephedrine is on the list of the World Anti-Doping Agency's specified substances but is contained in some cold cures, and a positive test does not carry the usual automatic two-year suspension.

Since 2007 however, four rugby players - two from rugby union and two from rugby league - have all been served with two-year bans after testing positive for ephedrine.

In three of those cases, the players involved took ephedrine tablets before a match, while in the fourth case the source of the stimulant was unclear.

In order to minimise his punishment, Kenny will have to attempt to prove that he did not take the drug in order to enhance his performance, and that it came in the form of an over-the-counter cough mixture or similar cold cure.

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