James Cronin’s “unintentional anti-doping violation” can serve as a valuable reminder for fellow players of the importance of personal diligence regarding prescribed medicines, former Munster team-mate Johne Murphy has said.
Munster loosehead prop Cronin was on Monday handed a one-month suspension at an independent judicial hearing in a case brought by European Professional Club Rugby having tested positive for banned substances prednisolone and prednisone following his province’s Heineken Champions Cup home pool game against Racing 92 last November 23.
The banned substances had not been in the antibiotics prescribed to the player but were in medication incorrectly dispensed to Cronin at a pharmacy.
In a statement issued through Munster Rugby on Monday, Cronin said: “I accept that this is a strict liability offence and that even though the medication taken was due to a very serious and unexpected dispensing error, it has taught me a very valuable lesson that I hope my fellow players and other athletes can also learn from.”
Retired player Murphy, talking on Tuesday in support of the Feed The Heroes campaign, endorsed Cronin’s message, saying: “From what I’ve read, I think it is very important for everyone, all professional sportspeople to be 100 per cent aware of everything.
“Everyone would go through a process like this multiple, multiple times. All professional sportspeople get a script and so on so it’s just to be extra diligent. It’s very unfortunate this has happened. James has gone through due process and there’s been a punishment handed down and he’s going to serve that punishment.”
Cronin co-operated fully with an EPCR investigation following the positive test and has volunteered “to participate in an educational forum to help raise awareness with other rugby union players so as to ensure that my experiences can be avoided by other athletes”. The prop will be free to play again after May 16.