Cycling Ireland issues warning on sports drinks after positive test and ban

Posted on: November 23rd, 2012


Cycling Ireland has urged riders to be cautious when using sports drinks after a semi professional Irish footballer tested positive for a prohibited substance that was in an energy drink he consumed before a match.

Drogheda United player Shane Grimes admitted to taking an energy drink containing a stimulant but insisted he did not know one of the ingredients in the drink was a banned substance.

He tested positive for “methylhexaneamine”, otherwise known as MHA or DMAA, when he was tested after playing against Dublin club Bohemians in May.

He said he drank an “energy supplement known as Jack3D” to give him a boost before games to combat tiredness linked to the fact he had just become a new father and was working full time.

The drink came in powder form, a scoop of which was dissolved by him in water and consumed before a match.

The defender was banned for eight months, though his team accept he acted innocently and say they will welcome him back when his ban expires early next year. The Irish Sport Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel which heard Grimes’ case also accepted the player had taken the substance unintentionally.

Grimes said he had been taking the drink regularly and that it was available to buy at the gym where he sometimes trained. It had been first given to him by a fellow footballer.

In the wake of the case, Cycling Ireland has urged riders to be cautious and to check ingredients in drinks.

“We urge all our members to be cognisant of the risk of using such products,” it said in a statement today, Friday.

“If you are not sure of the ingredients it is recommended to err on the side of caution and double check what the product contains.”

Methylhexaneamine was first marketed in the 1970s as a nasal decongestant and is a stimulant. It can mimic adrenaline when used with caffeine and is also used in some food supplements.

It is most often bought over the internet but is also available in some gyms and shops specialising in work out products. It is believed by many users to boost energy and prolong work out duration as well as increasing alertness and focus.

It has been restricted or banned in a number of countries after being linked to fatalities and adverse effects such as high blood pressure and cardiac issues.

Ireland has in recent months joined the UK, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the US in warning against the pre work-out stimulant. The substance was recently classed here as an unauthorised medicine.

As well as being sold as Jack3D it is also sold under the brand names Crack and Napalm.