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Page last updated at 16:30 GMT, Tuesday, 13 September 2011 17:30 UK

Scunthorpe United explain drugs test abandonments

David Beeby
Scunthorpe United general manager David Beeby

Scunthorpe United have explained why drugs tests involving 12 players were abandoned following claims made in a Channel 4 documentary.

Iron general manager David Beeby told BBC Radio Humberside: "The club have not made players deliberately unavailable for testing.

"These are genuine mistakes made on our part in terms of notifying testers on the whereabouts of people.

"We have no concerns over any of our players taking drugs."

Beeby continued: "Unfortunately training times did change which led to three incidents where we were unavailable for testing."

A test is recorded as abandoned when officials arrive at a training ground to take samples from players, only to find out that they are unavailable for testing.

On Monday, the Channel Four television programme 'Dispatches' investigated the use of both recreational and performance enhancing substances in football. It revealed that between April 2007 and August 2010, 240 drugs tests had to be abandoned because testers turned up at training grounds and found players were not there.

In a statement given to the programme, the Football Association defended its drug-testing programming. It said: "The FA operates a comprehensive anti-doping programme which is the largest of any sport in the UK. The FA prohibits all the doping offences listed in the World Anti-Doping Agency code and applies all the sanctions laid down in the Code for those offences.

Beeby explained how Scunthorpe was among the clubs at which tests had been recorded as having to be abandoned.

"They usually test three players when they come along and three [multiplied by four] has led to 12 abandoned drugs tests," explained Beeby.

"[The club] say on a monthly basis 'The players will be training at this venue at this time,' and if things change we will notify [the testers] as and when things change."

"The first [incident] happened back in April 2007, we'd just been promoted and won the championship at Tranmere, and our training times had changed.

"In the following week when the drugs people came out and found we weren't at the training ground when we specified we should be, we incurred a missed test warning."

"The following one we were at Watford, again in April, and the players were given an unscheduled day off on the Monday, [the drugs testers] came on the Monday and found that the players weren't there and we suffered through another missed test warning.

"The third one was in relation to 2010 when we had a pre-season friendly at York City, so our times had changed and therefore we weren't there when we said we were going to be," Beeby told BBC Radio Humberside.

We have no suspicions that any of our players are taking drugs, these are simple administration errors which we need to cut out.

Scunthorpe United general manager David Beeby

The Iron official went on to explain that no further action had been taken against the League One club.

"You get warnings and if you get enough warnings within a certain time-frame you would suffer a fine."

"These three incidents happened over too lengthy a time to warrant a fine," he added.

"We have no suspicions that any of our players are taking drugs, these are simple administration errors which we need to cut out.

"We've had the doping control people here, they've sat down with managers, the relevant staff and players.

"We've put a high emphasis on making sure we comply with the regulations and we've stressed the importance of this to all the staff."

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