Irish amateur cyclist Ciaran Kelly received a four-year ban this week after the results of a 2014 drug test found that he had tested positive for Clebuterol, a substance used for weight loss.
Kelly tested positive on the 14th of April last year, and usually a two-year ban would suffice for such an infringement, however after he cited contaminated meat he purchased from his local butcher as the reason behind failing the test.
The Irish Sports Council and Cycling Ireland deemed there to be "serious discrepancies in the athlete’s version of events” and that Kelly “engaged in deceptive conduct”.
Kelly's is not the first bizarre reason given by an athlete that received a ban for failing to abide by drug regulations, and it's not even the first time such a claim was made.
Petr Korda- More Contaminated Meat
The veteran 1998 Australian Open tennis champion tested positive for the anabolic steroid nandrolone at Wimbledon of the same year. Korda blamed the drug failure on eating too much steroid-fed veal, but it was reported that the Czech star would have had to consumed 40 calves a day for 20 years to have such a high level of nandrolone in his system. He was stripped of his Wimbledon prize money and retired the following year, he still protests his innocence.
Mark Bosnich- His Girlfriend Made Him Do It
The former Manchester United goalkeeper's career came to a shuddering halt after he tested positive for cocaine in 2002 and had his contract terminated by Chelsea. Bosnich claimed he did cocaine to scare his then supermodel girlfriend Sophie Anderton off the drug. The Aussie keeper said "I told her that for every line of cocaine she would take, I would take two. And that's exactly what I did." Bosnich later admitted he was spending £5,000-a-day on cocaine, his once-promising career fizzled out at that point. He made a brief return in the Australian A-League in 2008 before officially retiring.
Michael Rasmussen- Alleged Affair
Danish cyclist Michael Rasmussen was banned from the 2007 Tour de France for refusing to give his whereabouts to drug testers ahead of the race. Rasmussen said he was in Mexico but he was in fact in Italy, when he got found out he hinted why he couldn't tell the truth.
“The thing is that my wife would like to think I was in Mexico. I was in Italy but I did not live at home, “this is where the private must remain private. Amazingly many cyclists get divorced when their career is over. I was very close to being a pawn in the statistics and I am happy that it worked out.”
In 2013 he admitted to doping for over 12 years.
Rio Ferdinand- Went Shopping
The former Manchester United defender was famously banned for missing a drugs test in 2003. The England international forgot that he had a drug test after training and was spotted out shopping with his wife, he said he was moving house at the time for his reason for forgetting about the test. Although Ferdinand successfully passed the following day, the FA still served him a £50,000 find and an eight-month suspension. An expensive day at the shops for Rio.
Richard Gasquet- Kissed a Girl
The 2015 Wimbledon semi-finalist tested positive for cocaine six years ago and it looks like this one may actually be true. The French tennis player hit the town after the ATP Florida tournament and following his failed drug test he said he kissed a woman he had just met in a nightclub that had taken cocaine. Gasquet was initially suspended but that ban was later overturned by a tribunal panel. The results showed that the player consumed no more than "a grain of salt" of the drug, and that the case "unusual to the point of being probably unique."
Justin Gatlin- Vengeful Masseuse
The 2004 Olympic 100m sprint Gold Medalist tested positive for excessive levels of testosterone in 2006, three months after setting a world record in Doha. Facing a lifetime ban from competition Gatlin insisted that the testosterone one was rubbed into him by the team masseuse which he claimed had a grudge against him. The massage therapist declined the claim and Gatlin later accepted an eight year ban, which was reduced to four years and the American returned to competition.
Dennis Mitchell- Five Beers and Copious Amounts of Sex
1992 Olympic Gold medalist Dennis Mitchell tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone after a test in 1998. His explanation for the failure was that he consumed five beers the night before and had sex with his wife four times. The American's reasoning for why was even better, he said "it was her birthday. The lady deserved a treat". The excuse didn't work and Mitchell was banned for two years. In 2008 he testified at the trial of Trevor Graham that the Jamaican-born sprinter had injected him with human growth hormone.
Mo Farah- Didn't Hear the Doorbell
The double Olympic Gold medalist missed two drug tests in the build up to the 2012 games in London. One of the tests was scheduled to take place at his London home but Farah never answered the door to the testers and claimed he didn't hear it. There was already speculation that Farah used performance enhancing drugs due to his coach Alberto Salazar and his training partner Galen Rupp being under investigation after doping allegations were made against them. They maintain their innocence and there have been no suspensions, it's unknown if Farah got a new doorbell.
Tyler Hamilton- Vanishing Twin
By far the most elaborate reason on the list, probably because more than any of the others it was complete bullshit. United States cyclist Tyler Hamilton gave the most bizarre reason ever for he was found guilty of doping in 2005. The 34-year-old said he had a vanishing twin that he had absorbed in the womb and that accounted for the two different types of blood in his system. Hamilton was banned for two years and returned to the sport before being found doping again, he was banned for eight years and subsequently required. He later admitted to doping and returned his 2004 Olympic gold medal, and that he never had a twin.