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'Players have to remain diligent'

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James Cronin. Photo: Sportsfile

James Cronin. Photo: Sportsfile

James Cronin. Photo: Sportsfile

James Cronin's former team-mate, Johne Murphy, has stressed the importance for athletes to remain diligent following this week's shock revelation that the Irish international prop had received a one-month doping ban.

The 29-year-old Cronin tested positive for banned substances prednisolone and prednisone, following Munster's Champions Cup clash against Racing 92 last November.

It was also confirmed that Cronin did not have a therapeutic use exemption (TUE), permitting the use of this steroid medication.

European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) investigated the circumstances of the case following Cronin's positive test, and then referred the matter to an independent Judicial Officer.

The independent Judicial Officer found that the presence of the banned substances in the player's sample were due to a "dispensing error" made by a pharmacy. Therefore, Cronin's positive sample was considered "entirely unintentional".

Having been feeling unwell prior to the game last year, Cronin was issued a prescription but when he went to the pharmacy to collect the antibiotics the investigation found that he was given medication intended for a different customer with the same name.

"I've only seen a brief statement about what has happened," said former Munster winger Murphy, who is taking part in the #TheBigRugbyRun campaign, targeting grassroots rugby for a fun virtual team relay event in support of Feed The Heroes.

"It is important for everyone to be 100% aware of everything. All professionals get a script so you need to be very diligent. It's unfortunate this has happened."