What started out as a cold, and a couple of days recouping in bed with a box of cold medicine, has turned into a 9 month ban for Sheffield United Goalkeeper, Paddy Kenny, after testing positive for the banned substance ephedrine.
I still can not fathom exactly what the FA's message is with this harsh 9 month ban. "Don't reach for the nearest cold remedy when you get the sniffles? Otherwise you will end up with a worse ban than not even showing up for a drugs test." How did Rio get away with that one? The crime, rather the indiscretion, simply does not match the punishment.
The FA's Regulatory Commission chairman, Christopher Quinlan stated, "Whilst we found that the player satisfied us on the balance of probabilities that the substance was not taken with the intention of enhancing sporting performance, his admitted conduct displayed significant fault." Lets be honest, the stereotype of Footballers not being the sharpest tool in the shed, holds plenty of weight to it, and acts like this do little to dissipate those theories, but he could be forgiven for failing to check the entire ingredients label of a cold remedy bought over the counter at the local superdrug before popping a few. Reading the usage instructions is challenging enough when you have a head that feels like its in a vice.
Paddy's "admitted conduct," displayed the actions of what most people would do in the same situation, including all the staff in the FA's regulatory commission. Yes, maybe he was a little bit liberal with his dosage, but the intention was not to enhance his performance. So a 9 month ban during which he is not even allowed to train with any professional team, is excessive to say the very least. Maybe, the FA can have a word with UEFA and swap Eduardo's two game ban with Kenny's 9 month maternity. Put it this way I would rather see the law come down seriously and consistanly with cheating that is caught in broad daylight through the HD lenses every weekend around Premier League venues, rather than an oversight with cold medicine.