Hamilton player Simon Mensing serves drugs ban

Hamilton midfielder Simon Mensing has served a four-week suspension following an anti-doping rule violation, UK Anti-Doping have confirmed.

The 28-year-old tested positive for the stimulant methylhexaneamine last month.

A statement issued by the Scottish Football Association today read: "UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) have confirmed an anti-doping rule violation involving the Hamilton Academical player, Simon Mensing.

"UKAD have confirmed 'the presence of a prohibited substance or its metabolites or markers' in a sample collected from the player on December 29, 2010.

"The stimulant methylhexaneamine (MHA) was detected in the player's sample, following which a four-week period of ineligibility was imposed on him, starting January 29, 2011, at 0900 and concluding on February 28, 2011, at 0900."

UKAD confirmed the violation on their website and Mensing issued his own response today.

A statement issued on Mensing's behalf read: "Simon used the dietary supplement from September last year which clearly states it contains no banned substances.

"It is freely available from high street retailers.

"Simon sought advice from two different retailers and his club and it appeared there was no banned substance contained in the supplement."

Hamilton hit out at what they believe was unfair treatment of their player.

A statement from the club's chairman, Ronnie MacDonald read: "Following the Clydesdale Bank Premier League fixture on December 29 against Aberdeen, a random sample test on Simon Mensing recorded slight traces of methylhexaneamine.

"As a result, Simon was automatically suspended until a hearing could be convened.

"In spite of the best efforts of the club and Simon's representatives, he was not given the opportunity to provide evidence on his behalf until last week.

"As a result of these deliberations, no further suspension was passed and Simon was available for selection from 9am on Saturday morning.

"The human right of being 'innocent until proven guilty' apparently no longer applies in our society."

Mensing stated he was "completely innocent" of any wrongdoing and called for more information to be made available to players regarding banned substances.

He said: "This whole saga has been a nightmare for me and my family and can only be described as a fiasco.

"I should make it clear that I would never have taken any banned substance in a million years - and made every effort to check in advance that the dietary supplement I did take was clean.

"I am glad it has been recognised by the anti-doping authority that I did not know that the supplement was contaminated by something that I now know is called methylhexaneamine.

"They also accepted that I had made no effort to improve or enhance my performance as I did not know I had ingested the substance.

"However, it still leaves a bitter taste that I have been prevented from playing because the rules are that if any substance is found in your body, whether you knew or not, then you bear responsibility.

"It's strict liability and that is very hard to take when you are completely innocent."

He added: "I did everything I could to check that it was all right and when I gave my routine urine sample at the end of the game on December 29 I told the testers I was taking this. I made no attempt to hide it.

"What makes this even more of a nightmare is there was no way of knowing that this substance was in what appeared to be a perfectly good dietary supplement.

"Furthermore, the system is such that there is not any easy way to find out about these things.

"If regulations are going to be enforced like this then even more information needs to be made available to players from the footballing authorities.

"The whole saga has been hugely frustrating but my conscience is absolutely clear.

"I am very grateful for the support of my family and Hamilton Accies and I am now just glad to be getting back to playing for the club."

Mensing was banned for SPL games against St Johnstone, Hearts, Motherwell and Aberdeen, as well as a Scottish Cup tie against Dundee United.

Hamilton boss Billy Reid told Press Association Sport: "All I can say is that we have missed Simon for five games. He came back on Saturday and he has been a stalwart for me.

"I think it just sums up how the season has gone for us."