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Page last updated at 17:44 GMT, Monday, 7 September 2009 18:44 UK

Keeper Kenny given nine-month ban

Paddy Kenny
Kenny has made nearly 300 appearances for the Blades

Sheffield United keeper Paddy Kenny has been suspended from all football for nine months for failing a drugs test.

The 31-year-old tested positive for a banned substance, ephedrine, following last season's Championship play-off semi-final second leg against Preston.

And while a statement read "its use was not intended to enhance performance", Kenny was found guilty by the Football Association's Regulatory Commission.

The suspension dates back to 22 July, meaning he can return in April, 2010.

In addition, Kenny will be subject to target testing for a period of two years, while he was also ordered to pay the costs of the hearing.

Commission chairman, Christopher Quinlan, said: "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.

606: DEBATE

"A professional sportsman has a strict responsibility to ensure prohibited substances do not enter his/her body.

"In this instance Mr Kenny knowingly ingested an over-the-counter medicine above the prescribed dosage without reading the accompanying package or leaflet and without reference to his club's doctor or other medical staff.

"It is incumbent upon all professional footballers to understand the perils and dangers of so doing and to act in the way he did showed in our judgment a complete disregard for those responsibilities."

However, United manager Kevin Blackwell hinted the club could well appeal against the length of the suspension.

"The Commission accepted he didn't take the drug for performance enhancing, it was a course of tablets to relieve his chest - so we're a little surprised he's been done for nine months.

"I don't understand the length of the ban. It's unbelievable.

"The reasoning will be submitted to the powers that be in the next 48 hours and we'll have a look at it. There is every chance of appealing against this, but at the moment we'll look at all our options.

"Paddy's devastated. At no time did he think it would come to this - it's a major lesson to every sportsman or woman out there. This case shows that before a player takes anything out of his medicine cabinet he has to check it intently."

Kenny, a former Republic of Ireland international, has made nearly 300 appearances for the Blades since joining in 2002.



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see also
Goalkeeper Kenny fails drugs test
07 Jul 09 |  Sheff Utd
Blackwell begins reshaping Blades
28 May 09 |  Sheff Utd
Blades put Kenny on transfer list
29 Dec 08 |  Sheff Utd
Kenny to be offered new contract
30 Oct 08 |  Sheff Utd


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