INPHO/Morgan Treacy Martin Fagan is cheered home as he wins the Great Ireland Run in 2010.
# Athletics
Fagan's is the last name I would have picked, says shocked Jerry Kiernan
The Mullingar marathon man’s career is over after reported EPO use, says RTÉ athletics pundit.

FORMER OLYMPIC LONG-DISTANCE runner Jerry Kiernan says he hopes Martin Fagan recovers from a failed drug test - but that the Mullingar man’s athletic career is now over.

Fagan confirmed to the Irish Times’ Ian O’Riordan today that he is indeed the Olympic hopeful who has tested positive for EPO.

Athletics Ireland confirmed on Saturday that an Irish athlete had failed a test but refused to go into details. Fagan now admits that he will face an anti-doping committee hearing tomorrow.

In the interview, the 28-year-old admitted that financial worries, injuries and pressure to qualify for next summer’s Games in London prompted him to take the drastic action of buying drugs online – and said he contemplated suicide.

“I found the [Irish Times] article to be actually quite shocking and very, very sad because I know Martin,” Kiernan told Newstalk’s lunchtime radio programme host, Jonathon Healy.

“Now, I only know him the way I should know him – as a pundit for RTÉ, I’m supposed to be up to speed on the athletes and all that they do. So I could talk about his races and times.”

“But I never knew Martin suffered from depression or was suicidal. Because whenever you read an interview with Martin he was always very interested in music, he was a very friendly type of a guy. He was a free spirit type of an individual.

“I knew there was a story breaking a couple of days ago and I was trying to surmise who could be involved and Martin Fagan was the last name I could have come up with.”

Kiernan, who represented Ireland at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, said loneliness isn’t particularly prevalent amongst long-distance athletes.

“I ran marathons as well – most of these athletes think nothing of getting up on a Sunday morning and going for a two- and three-hour run. We don’t need company and sometimes we don’t want company. I mean just because you’re slightly introverted doesn’t mean you go down this road.

“There’s very few people gone down the road that Martin Fagan’s has. And you see it in all walks of life. I mean what prompted Gary Speed to take the course of action he took? And you probably find amongst teachers, amongst all types of individuals. This is nothing new except the article is very, very graphic and it gives people an insight.

“As I said I was shocked and very saddened by it all. I would hope he gets over this but his running career is finished,” added the Kerryman.

“Unless you’re involved in athletics, specifically long distance running, no one has a clue to the amount of time, the amount of effort that you put into all this – the physical effort, the mental effort, it’s the full thing. And most people actually deal with it. But Martin Fagan – at 28-years of age felt he couldn’t handle it.

“He did stupid things in his life, he ran stupid races when he was hurt, he compounded things by making things worse, he was always injured and he trained impossibly hard and he’s literally run himself into the ground both physically and mentally.”

Meanwhile, this is the moment when Fagan’s former training partner, Abdi Abdirahman, seemingly learned of his colleague’s positive result (via

YouTube credit: letsrundotcom

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