Premier League footballer Gary O’Connor ex-Birmingham City striker tested positive for cocaine during the 2009/10 season, and got away with a two month suspension.
The positive Cocaine result was covered up by the club and the FA. Former manager Alex McLeish claimed that the striker was out injured following an operation carried out a year prior to the suspension.
Channel 4 dispatches revealed other cases of positive drugs tests that had been covered up including Elvis Hammond, a former Fulham player and Rochdale player Lee Thorpe. The channel 4 programme found that the UK anti-doping agency have caught up to 43 professional footballers using cocaine, ecstasy or cannabis in out-of-competition testing and 240 drug tests were ‘abandoned’ between April 2007 and August 2010 due to players failing to turn up to be tested.
The FA commented saying ‘The FA operates a comprehensive anti-doping programme which is the largest of any sport in the UK. The FA go beyond the WADA Code by proactively testing all samples for social drugs, irrespective of whether the tests are conducted in or out of competition.’