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Van Graan believes James Cronin doping case is closed


Munster coach Johann van Graan. Photo: Sportsfile

Munster coach Johann van Graan. Photo: Sportsfile


Munster coach Johann van Graan. Photo: Sportsfile

Munster coach Johann van Graan does not believe James Cronin's case will be re-opened. The prop tested positive for two banned corticosteroids in November and served a one-month ban during lockdown.

Although Cronin was found to "bear at least some fault" for the positive test by EPCR's independent judicial officer, he provided evidence that proved he was the victim of a pharmaceutical error.

The Irish Sports Council (ISC) has made known its disquiet with the apparent leniency of the suspension in comparison with similar cases in other sports, but opted not to appeal.

According to a report yesterday, the Sports Council may yet revisit the case if new evidence comes to light as a result of an investigation into the incident by the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland (PSI) with whom the ISC have a new memorandum of understanding.

"If they (the PSI) decide to carry out an investigation, there is potential, if there was anything else going on, that we might have more evidence, and could start a new case."

However, Van Graan says Cronin should be allowed to move on.

"The process that took place was transparent and very comprehensive," he said. "One with clear supporting evidence at every stage. Everybody can see and understand why the sanction was imposed and in the words of the judicial officer it was down to an unexpected and serious error on the part of the pharmacist.

"Ultimately this boils down to human error. It's led to a lengthy investigation and that's what the EPCR finding reflects. It's clear for all to see that the responsibility of the player was low . . . I'll rest with that.

"James knows the role he's got to play and accepts responsibility."

Irish Independent