The 25-year-old, who could be facing up to a two-year ban, failed a drugs test after Drogheda’s league game against Bohemians in May, but says he had no idea the energy drink he had consumed contained a banned substance.
Yesterday, Grimes met with Players’ Football Association of Ireland boss, Stephen McGuinness, to give his side of the story. According to a statement issued by the PFAI: “He took an energy supplement known as ‘Jack3d’ which unknown to him contained a banned stimulant called methylhexaneamine otherwise known as MHA. He believed he was consuming an energy drink and is both shocked and dismayed to find that it contains a banned substance.
“He has today written to the Irish Sports Council admitting the offence but will be relying on the provisions of Article 10.3.1 of the Irish Doping rules which allows a player to adduce evidence that he did not intend to enhance sporting performance.”
An Irish Sports Council hearing into the affair is scheduled for July 17.
Because of the failed test, Grimes has been provisionally suspended, meaning he is unavailable for this evening’s trip to Derry for an in-from Drogheda side who are currently joint third with Shamrock Rovers.
While table-toppers Sligo Rovers will be expected to come out on top against struggling Dundalk at Oriel Park, second-placed St Pat’s could have a tougher test at home to Shelbourne. And in the big Dublin derby, Bohs welcome defending champions Shamrock Rovers to Dalymount Park.
Following their last gasp heroics in salvaging a 2-2 draw against Derry City at Turner’s Cross last week, Cork City travel to the Carlisle Grounds to take on Bray Wanderers, with John Dunleavy back from suspension, Neal Horgan likely to be available, Dan Murray close to a recall and new signing Graham McCarthy available.
Central midfielder McCarthy was a member of Avondale’s FAI Intermediate Cup-winning side. “Graham had a great season with Avondale and was recommended as one of the best players in the Munster Senior League,” said City manager Tommy Dunne. “We are likely to add another one or two players when the transfer window opens.”
Tonight’s fixtures (7.45pm unless stated)
Premier Division: Bohemians v Shamrock Rovers, Dalymount Park; Bray Wanderers v Cork City, Carlisle Grounds; Derry City v Drogheda Utd, Brandywell; St Pat’s Ath v Shelbourne, Richmond Park; Dundalk v Sligo Rovers, Oriel Park. First Division: Athlone Town v SD Galway, Lisseywoollen; Mervue Utd v Longford Town, Fahy’s Field; Limerick FC v Finn Harps, Jackman Park; Wexford Youths v Waterford Utd, Ferrycarrig Park (8pm).