Tuesday 17 October 2017

Ex-cocaine user Egan now Irish anti-doping rep

Boxer sent on a five-star IOC trip to Singapore despite admitting he also 'regularly took ecstasy'

Kenneth Egan
Kenneth Egan
Niamh Horan

Niamh Horan

Boxer Kenneth Egan, who described himself in his autobiography as having once been a "regular ecstasy user", is now the Irish representative on the World Anti-Doping Association (WADA).

The Olympic medallist, who also boasted that he had also tried his "share of cocaine", has spent the past week on an all-expenses paid trip to the five-star Marina Bay Sands Hotel in Singapore.

Staying at the luxury hotel as part of the IOC International Athletes' Forum, the Dubliner has been enthusia-stically posting photographs of the trip on his social networking site.

One photograph shows the former boxer with British long-distance runner Paula Radcliffe, while in another he displays his restaurant standard meal on his long-haul flight to Dubai with the hashtag #travel in style.

Egan also uploaded a picture of the stunning infinity pool on the rooftop of his hotel, where guests can survey the Singapore skyline as they take a dip 57 storeys above the ground.

The Dubliner's trip to Singapore is in stark contrast to the revelations in the controversial autobiography, Kenny Egan: My Story.

"We would hit all the main spots, the Ormond, the Temple Theatre and then get the Nitelink home, which was the wildest part of it all as we snaked down through Ballyfermot and Neilstown at 4am surrounded by all sorts of headcases," he said.

"By that stage I was a regular ecstasy taker and tried my share of cocaine too. Both were easy to get hold of," he wrote.

"We used to have bottles on the bus, take a few tablets and dance the night away."

Describing his hallucinations on one particular trip, he said: "I was at a house party one time and the guy had a big conservatory, and we were drinking away all night in it.

"There was condensation dripping on to the floor and as the sun came up I was sitting on a chair and was getting annoyed. Believing I was on the Nitelink bus, I started asking everyone who was still conscious, 'What time is this bus leaving at anyway?' I looked up and could see empty cans floating past me. I didn't know where I was."

Days after the book detailing Egan's drug-taking exploits was published, his position on the anti-doping committee was approved following his nomination by the Irish Sports Council.

At the time, the Irish Sports Council chairman Kieran Mulvey and the body's chief executive John Treacy welcomed Egan's appointment as an observer to WADA's athlete committee, describing him as a "notable recognition for Ireland in the international arena of anti-doping".

Despite his foray into the world of recreational class A drug use, Egan wrote in the book that he gave up drugs in 2000 – notably the same year he won his first competitive title – adding that: "I haven't gone near that scene since."

Before now, Egan has attended a meeting for the anti-doping agency in St Petersburg, Russia.

A spokesman for the Irish Sports Council told the Sunday Independent: "The Irish Sports Council (ISC) and WADA were both aware of Kenneth's autobiography.

"The historic reference in his autobiography pre-dates Kenneth's entry on to the ISC carding scheme and even the establishment of the ISC itself.

"Kenneth's nomination to the WADA was based in his status and considerable experience as a HP athlete.

"WADA's remit is focused on performance enhancing drugs and as a successful athlete, Olympian and captain of one of Ireland most successful HP teams Kenneth was well positioned to represent Ireland and HP athletes."

Albert Guy, the man who famously conducted the dope test on Michelle de Bruin, said he welcomed Egan's inclusion on the anti-doping team.

He added: "There is nothing wrong with using someone who has had experience first hand and can get into the mindset of the person he is dealing with."

In a statement WADA said: "WADA's Athlete Committee represents the views and rights of athletes worldwide, while providing insight into athletes' roles and responsibilities as it relates to anti-doping. Its members have a key role in helping WADA understand the challenges vulnerable athletes face and how WADA can best lead in developing strategies to not only detect, but also deter and prevent. WADA needs to engage with athletes of all backgrounds to ensure that input comes from all spheres in the field."

Irish Independent

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