Sheahan's appeal to be heard in September


Frankie Sheahan's appeal against the two-year ban he received after being found guilty of a doping offence will be heard by a European Rugby Cup Ltd (ERC) tribunal on September 1st.

The Ireland and Munster hooker was banned having tested positive for salbutamol after being randomly tested by the ERC following Munster's Heineken Cup semi-final against Toulouse in April.

Sheahan has maintained the situation arose out of an administrative oversight after filling out a form incorrectly prior to the start of the European Cup.

He failed to tick a relevant box concerning his use of a Ventolin inhaler - salbutamol is an ingredient in that - to control his asthma, and he was deemed to have produced a positive drugs test.

It was revealed in the hearing that Sheahan's system contained 20 times more salbutamol after the semi-final against Toulouse than it had following the quarter-final.

The tribunal therefore ruled that it "cannot with conscience conclude that the player has satisfied us, on the balance of probabilities, that he administered himself with only eight puffs of ventolin containing salbutamol for the purpose of properly treating and/or preventing his asthma and/or exercise-induced asthma".

Sheahan has received widespread support since he was banned, with the Irish Rugby Union Players' Association offering their "full and unconditional support" to the hooker in his efforts to vindicate himself.