You may have noticed over the years that this column has a zero-tolerance attitude towards doping in this game. One person doping is a cheat too many.
have taken quite recently a very strong line on Springbok superstar Aphiwe Dyantyi. When a big fish is on the line you have to fight him hard.
So when one of our own is found guilty of a doping offence you ask twice as many questions and you look under every stone even though you have been told a hundred times.
James Cronin's difficult case is one of a kind.
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His name is now on the register while others have walked. I'm not sure if that is fair. Are the same standards of strict liability applied everywhere?
In June 2012, after the Top 14 final between Toulon and Toulouse, Steffon Armitage tested positive for morphine which is a narcotic analgesic. It is on the World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) banned list and for good reason.
Rugby, unfortunately, has become a game of power and strength rather than skill and natural ability. Dominate the physical exchanges and you will more than likely win.
What if you were able to take a substance which although it didn't make you bigger or stronger but allowed you to use what power and strength you had in an unrestricted way?
What if you were able to tackle or hit your opponent 30-40 per cent harder than he could hit you because you didn't feel the pain?
What if you trained harder during the week knowing that you wouldn't feel the aches and pains of the week's training coming into the match?
What if this substance gave you an increased pain threshold, a diminished recognition of injury and enhanced your sense of invincibility?
Morphine stops the pain receptors getting to your brain.
In terms of rugby union I could not think of a more efficient performance-enhancing drug.
Given in just the right amount it is the pain reliever of choice; given in a higher dose it is a powerful sedative.
Armitage had morphine in his system because his medical team stated that he took codeine and that it naturally turns into morphine. That process seems to be a matter of some scientific debate.
Weeks later it transpired that Eifion Lewis-Roberts, a less well-known Welsh prop who played for Toulon in the same Top 14 final, also tested positive for morphine - a coincidence peut etre?
Lewis-Roberts also had pseudoephedrine in his system; if you take too much morphine you don't feel the pain but you do suffer slower reaction times and some mild cognitive impairment. Take some pseudoephedrine and it will perk you up no end.
Lewis-Roberts got off as well on the basis that "he had not intentionally intended to enhance his performance".
His former club president, the lovable Mourad Boudjellal, stated at the time that "the player is not a drug cheat. He took a product to relieve the pain he was in and that is all there is to it."
That's how they do it in France and the two boys walked off into the sunset. Nothing on the record.
In 2016, Dan Carter, Joe Rokocoko and Juan Imhoff tested positive for traces of corticosteroids.
In World Rugby there is no bigger name in the game than Dan Carter - the most talented player I've ever seen.
The three boys had taken injectable corticosteroids under the treatment of the club doctor and it seems this is standard practice in France, all three playing for Racing 92, who happened to be Cronin's opponents on November 23, 2019 when he gave his sample which later tested positive for a banned substance.
Carter, Rokocoko and Imhoff had taken injections with anti-inflammatory properties. All corticosteroids are on WADA's prohibited list. The story is huge news all around the world and Carter & Co vehemently denied any wrongdoing.
The FFR, and in fairness the French Anti Doping Agency too in this instance, once again see nothing wrong and the boys walk free in double-quick time. Nothing to see here!
The point in all of this is that while those players went through a process and were cleared, they got the benefit of the doubt. The substances they had in their bodies were banned because they can have performing-enhancing effects but how those substances got there was taken as a full defence.
That doesn't sit too easily with the underlying principle of anti-doping, strict liability - in other words the player is responsible for whatever ends up in their body, regardless of how it gets there. I imagine it sits even less easily with James Cronin.
Cronin tested positive for prednisolone and prednisone, glucocorticoids that are prohibited under section S9 of WADA's 2019 list.
Glucocorticoids are a class of corticosteroids.
There are so many questions about Cronin's case. The first one is what benefit can he derive from the use of prednisolone?
On a standalone basis the drug is a mild stimulant and as an anti-inflammatory agent it also has the facility to open up your airways - other than that it would be of no huge advantage from a performance perspective.
It is assumed that Cronin was suffering from a chest infection and he was prescribed amoxicillin which he took the day before the game against Racing 92.
If Cronin's condition was bad enough to require antibiotics the question has to be asked why send him out into a Test-standard cup match?
Playing with antibiotics in your system while I'm sure is not widespread can be dangerous depending on the individual metabolism.
Many pharmacists will tell you that amoxicillin often requires a steroid to be taken in conjunction with it. The antibiotic will clear up the bacterial infection and the steroid will reduce inflammation, clearing the airways.
This is a far more effective way of dealing with a chest infection than with antibiotics on their own.
The other aspect was that Cronin's prescription did not have his age, address or dosage on the package which is standard practice.
Nor did the player question as to why, if he had taken amoxicillin before, he was being asked to take two separate medicines. There were enough red lights here to arouse suspicion.
You are also heading into Lotto numbers in terms of the odds of having another Cronin go to the same pharmacy to collect another product.
However, Cronin's legal team and the Munster management were forensic with their approach and the dossier and the information that was garnered holds up to scrutiny.
They were very thorough in their evidence to the point apparently that they managed to locate the prescription for the other James Cronin. It is an outlier and GUBU in the way that the case came about.
A copy of the pharmacy's medication dispensing form showing that the wrong medication had in fact been given to the player for me sealed it.
The Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland would have been all over this if there was any falsification. I am satisfied that Cronin did not take a prohibited substance intentionally.
Cronin bears at least some fault and his name goes on the register. Meanwhile, our French cousins are allowed to walk free without as much as a slap on the wrist.
It demonstrates that systems on this island are far more stringent than other places you could care to mention.
A month's suspension when no rugby is being played is just a slap on the wrist but more importantly, ethically and morally the Irish system's principles have been upheld and can face some pretty serious scrutiny.
Strict liability though, means strict liability. All we are missing, as usual, is consistency.