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Glentoran's Rory Hamill makes statement on his drugs ban
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Friday, 6 October, 2000, 11:32 GMT 12:32 UK
Sorry Hamill banned by Uefa
Rory Hamill
Rory Hamill expresses his regret over drugs shame
Glentoran's Rory Hamill has been banned from European football for a year after failing a drugs test.

Traces of a banned substance, believed to be cannabis, were found when Hamill was selected for a random test following a UEFA Cup match against Lillestrom in Norway last August.

Uefa's ban dos not cover Irish League football, but Hamill has been suspended indefinitely by his club.

Hamill faced the press on Friday morning, looking emotional and remorseful.

The player read out a statement but team manager Roy Coyle would not let him answer any questions.

Very distressed

"He is a very distressed person at the moment," said Coyle.

In his statement, Hamill apologised for letting people down and admitted he had been stupid.

"I feel ashamed," said the 24-year-old former Fulham player.

"This was a foolish experiment which I totally regret.

Roy Coyle
Roy Coyle: 'We have to help player'

"Drugs have never had any place in my life and that of my family.

"Never again will I allow this destructive influence to affect my life and the things which are most important to me."

Hamill thanked Glentoran for the way they had handled the affair.

"They could have sacked me immediately but instead decided to get behind me and support me through this," he added.

The Glentoran midfielder, who has one Northern Ireland cap, also urged young supporters, who looked up to him, not to follow his example.

Not dismissed

"I would hate to think that as a result of what I did, any youngster would be encouraged to experiment with drugs," he said.

Team boss Coyle explained why Glentoran had not dismissed Hamill over the matter.

"In life everybody has to get a chance," he said.

"Rory is not the first person to have ever taken an illegal substance.

"He is a very distressed person at the moment and I think it would be remiss of us not to try to help him."

Coyle said Hamill would remain suspended from the club until the manager and board deemed it right for him to return.

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