Former Republic of Ireland international Daryl Murphy has confirmed that he once served a six-week ban, imposed by the FA, for taking cocaine on a night out.
In a statement to The Athletic, the Bolton Wanderers striker expressed his remorse for the incident that occurred while he was still with Nottingham Forest.
The suspension is only now coming to light due to the FA’s policy of not naming players who have failed a drugs test.
According to the media report, Murphy was suspended from Aitor Karanka’s side from October 6 to December 8 of last year.
In his statement, the 36-year-old said it was “an isolated incident” and one which he “immediately regretted”.
“Firstly, I would like to stress that the taking of recreational drugs is something that I don’t condone whatsoever,” Murphy said. “I served a suspension at the beginning of last season for making a bad decision while on a night out.
“This was an isolated incident which happened out of competition when we had no game. I immediately regretted it.
“I am not proud of what I did but it’s something I have put behind me as I want to concentrate on my football career.”
Murphy was released from Forest at the start of the current season and joined Wanderers as a free agent. He has been in impressive form since joining the club, scoring five goals in eight League One appearances, though the side currently lie at the bottom of the table.
The FA conducts drug testing both in competition (post-match) and out of competition (at training sessions and player’s home addresses). Players can be selected for a drug test in either a random or a targeted basis.
A positive test for a social drug on a non-matchday is not a WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) offence. However, in line with the FA’s tough stance on social drugs, it is a breach of the FA’s own social drugs policy regulations and will lead to a suspension.