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Hamilton's Simon Mensing serves ban after drugs test


Mensing has 'nothing to hide'

Hamilton Accies midfielder Simon Mensing has served a month-long suspension after failing a drugs test.

Mensing tested positive for the banned substance methylhexaneamine, which was present in a dietary supplement.

He received notification of his ban in January from UKAD (the national body for UK's anti-doping policy).

"I did everything I could to check that it [the supplement] was all right," said Mensing. "This whole saga has been a nightmare for me and my family."

Mensing, who returned for Saturday's 1-1 draw with Dundee United, added: "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 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."

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

Ronnie MacDonald
Hamilton Academical chairman

A statement issued on behalf of the player said that he used the dietary supplement, freely available from the High Street, from September last year and that he took advice from two different retailers and his club and it appeared there was no banned substance contained in the supplement.

"When I gave my routine urine sample at the end of the game on 29 December I told the testers I was taking this," added Mensing. "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."

Methylhexaneamine, which can boost the heart rate of an athlete, is found in foodstuffs, medicines and dietary supplements.

At the time of the ban, Mensing had been serving a football suspension just a few days after his wife had given birth. Accies then intimated the player was unavailable because of family reasons.

Accies have missed Mensing - Reid

Accies chairman, Ronnie MacDonald was angry to lose a key player for five matches and said: "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."

UKAD issued warnings to sporting bodies that methylhexaneamine was on the banned list in November last year.

In November, South African rugby players Chiliboy Ralepelle and Bjorn Basson were sent home from their UK tour after testing positive for methylhexaneamine following a match in Ireland.

A South Africa Rugby Union judicial committee later ruled there was "no fault" by the players because the substance was in a supplement given to them.

Nigerian sprinters Osayemi Oludamola and Samuel Okon were disqualified from the Commonwealth Games in Delhi in October after the substance was detected in their samples, with Oludamola being stripped of her 100m gold medal.

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