Tuesday 21 November 2017

Fagan 'felt like junkie'

IRISH Olympic marathon runner Martin Fagan has come clean over testing positive for EPO.

The Mullingar native is facing a two-year ban after traces of the performance-enhancing drug were found in a urine sample he gave during an out-of-competition test in Arizona.

Fagan, 28, has admitted to consciously injecting himself to gain an unfair advantage over his rivals and claimed that he was suffering from severe depression.

"I remember injecting it, thinking this is how the junkie feels," said Fagan, who qualified for the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

"This is how low I've let myself go. That's really when I realised I just shouldn't be in this position, that it's telling me something, that I really do need help.

"I can handle the blame, what it's done to my career. But I hate what it's done to all the other people, my family, the other Irish athletes.


"Because it's all my doing, purely selfish. But when you're contemplating suicide you just don't think about all those other things."

In 2008, Fagan ran two hours 14 minutes and six seconds in the Dubai marathon -- inside the necessary 2:15.00 for Beijing, and a time that still ranks as the 14th fastest Irish marathon of all time. However, he dropped out of the Olympic marathon through an Achilles tendon injury, shortly before halfway.

He has been based in Flagstaff, Arizona, since 2007, for high altitude training, and it was in the United States that the "out of competition" testing took place.

Fagan had been hoping to achieve the 2:15.00 mark that would have qualified him for the London Olympic marathon, and ran well in the Chicago marathon last October, where he appeared on course for about 2:12.00.

But he suddenly dropped out inside the final mile.

He had planned to race in yesterday's Houston marathon with the hope of qualifying for London.

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