Fleetwood Town set to decide on Kinsella doping case

Gerard Kinsella
Gerard Kinsella

Fleetwood Town bosses will meet with midfielder Gerard Kinsella later this week to discuss the fallout from his shock doping ban.

Kinsella has been handed a two-year suspension from football by the FA after admitting taking the banned anabolic steroid Nandrolone.

The 21-year-old former Everton trainee admitted being given two injections by his cousin to help with pain from a dislocated shoulder but insisted he had no knowledge he was using a banned drug.

Town chief executive Steve Curwood insisted the club wouldn’t rush into any action.

He said: “We are going to meet with Gerard and his representatives at the end of the week to discuss these circumstances.

“The verdict only came through to us at the end of last week and was only made public on Tuesday. It is only fair that we don’t comment on his situation until we’ve been able to take everything into account.”

Curwood expressed his concerns for the player, admitting it would be a major blow to his career.

He said: “This is a young lad and this is how he looked to make his livelihood. This is a major blow for him and for his career.

“It isn’t over for him but it is certainly a huge setback for someone we saw as a promising young player.”

The doping incident took place outside the club but Curwood insisted Fleetwood do everything they can to advise players on the dangers.

“This is an exceptionally rare incident,” he said. “We have meetings with the FA and the players have the chance to meet with their anti-doping team.

“The physio team are well versed and well prepared to lend advice. We’re confident we have everything in place to support the players.

“They know they can contact the FA, their own union or our own staff if they have any concerns over anything they are given.”

Kinsella was one of several Town players selected for random drugs testing on February 5. He was interviewed by FA official Jenni Kennedy and FA Anti-Doping manager Kevin Haynes on March 11,when he insisted the injection had only been intended as pain relief and that he had not found out what had been administered until after his positive test.

Kinsella was given the substance by his cousin Neil Kinsella, who made a written statement to the FA. He stated: “(I) am like an uncle to Gerard. For years I have seen him struggle with injuries and frustration which hurt me to see him suffer with depression. The stuff I gave him, I use myself as a painkiller.

“I did not no (sic) this was a sports enhancer because it’s used for joints and pain. I did not know it was Nandrolone.

“Gerard definitely didn’t know either...

“I never knew this would happen. I am so sorry for this and am gutted this is my fault... I mislead him.”

Kinsella himself has apologised to the FA for his behaviour and said that his actions were of “desperation and stupidity.”

Kinsella was an unused substitute on five occasions for Town last season..

In their final report into Kinsella’s case, the FA found his ‘conduct fell well short of establishing that he had acted without significant fault or negligence.’

Kinsella’s two-year suspension is the minimum term for such an offence.