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Dublin: 9°C Tuesday 20 April 2021

Sport Ireland considering appeal against James Cronin's one-month ban for doping violation

CEO John Treacy agreed the punishment is lenient.

File photo of Munster Rugby player James Cronin.
File photo of Munster Rugby player James Cronin.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

SPORT IRELAND ARE considering an appeal against the one-month suspension handed to Munster forward James Cronin for an anti-doping violation. 

It emerged on 20 April that Cronin failed a drugs test after Munster’s Heineken Champions Cup match with Racing 92 in November 2019, testing positive for the banned substances prednisolone and prednisone.

Sport Ireland CEO John Treacy today agreed the length and timing of the ban is lenient. 

Following an investigation, independent judicial officer Antony Davies accepted evidence that the failed test was due to the pharmacy dispensing the player medication intended for another customer of the same name. 

Davies and European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) accepted Cronin’s doping violation was “entirely unintentional”, but found that Cronin “had to bear some responsibility” for ingesting the substance containing prednisolone and prednisone.

Under EPCR rules, an unintentional doping violation can be punished with a suspension of up to two years. 

In this case, Cronin was given a one-month suspension stretching from 15 April until 16 May 2020. There are no scheduled rugby matches during this timeframe because of the Covid-19 shutdown. 

Speaking to journalists over a Zoom call following the publication of their anti-doping report for 2019, Chief Executive John Treacy confirmed Sport Ireland are weighing up an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland. 

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Any appeal must be lodged within 21 days of Sport Ireland’s receipt of the decision. 

“We have made no decision, but we are reviewing the case”, said Treacy. 

Treacy offered little comment on the case beyond that, but he agreed when The42 offered the opinion that a one-month ban at a time of no scheduled matches is lenient.

That is the case and that’s why we are reviewing it”, replied Treacy. 

With reporting by Murray Kinsella 

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Gavin Cooney

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