Explained: What is Methylhexaneamine - the substance Kerry's Brendan O'Sullivan tested positive for
Sport Ireland have this afternoon confirmed that Kerry footballer Brendan O'Sullivan tested positive for methylhexaneamine after the 2016 league final defeat to Dublin.
In their statement, Sport Ireland referred to methylhexaneamine as a 'stimulant' while adding that 'Mr. O'Sullivan bore no significant fault or negligence' as 'Sport Ireland accepted that it was a contaminated product case' that caused the positive test.
According to WADA, methylhexaneamine 'is a pharmacological substance classified as a stimulant that was commercialised up to the beginning of the seventies. MHA reappeared a few years ago as a constituent of dietary supplements sold freely on some markets or on the Internet.'
Methylhexaneamine is a vasoconstrictor, which increases heart rate and blood pressure, although it is also used a dietary supplement to keep weight down.
The substance was added to WADA's banned list in 2010 and there have been prior cases of sportspeople accidentally taking it. Hamilton Academical footballer Simon Mensing served a one month ban in 2010 after testing positive for methylhexaneamine, which was contained in a weight loss supplement he took. Like O'Sullivan, his explanation that he took the substance accidentally was accepted.
Methylhexaneamine was also the drug found in Nesta Carter's system which saw Usain Bolt and his Jamaican team-mates stripped of their relay gold from the 2008 Olympics.
In a 2011 advisory note to its athletes, USADA advised that supplements that include 'geranium' may in fact contain synthetic methylhexaneamine, although it may not be listed and in 2012 the Canadian anti-doping authorities issued a similar warning that some supplements may contain methylhexaneamine but not have it listed among the ingredients.
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