Geraldine Finnegan handed 2-month suspension in Kamloops case

Geraldine Finnegan

Ireland’s Geraldine Finnegan can breathe easily now. The banned drug she took for her asthma and nasal congestion at Kamloops — and resulted in a positive dope test — will net her only a two-month suspension from competition, ending Saturday, June 26. See the official statement from WMA President Stan Perkins. By not throwing the book at Geraldine, WMA is acting responsibly. Others caught up in the IAAF/WADA drugnet for ephedrine use have also gotten reduced penalties. However, she loses two medals. Stan says: “The analysis of Ms Finegan’s urine sample collected on 5 March 2010 at the WMA World Master Indoor Championships in Kamloops (Canada), revealed the presence of a prohibited stimulant (ephedrine). Her results achieved at the World Indoor Championships, 60mH (1st place) and 400m(3rd place), will be disqualified accordingly.”

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June 22, 2010

7 Responses

  1. Anthony Treacher - June 22, 2010

    There has to be some penalty for infringing the doping rules. So the disqualification of Ms Finnegan’s Kamloops results is OK.

    However the 2-month suspension (which elapses on June 26 – in 4 days!) is petty, verging on the ludicrous. It had been better with no suspension at all.

  2. Gary - June 22, 2010

    I just read the article on drug testing that Ken put on here the other day. I am kind of in agreement that we should not drug test. The whole thing is silly. How about using some of that money to pay for athletes to go to meets (scholarships). Not all of us have 2k to fly all over!

  3. Dan Murdock - June 22, 2010

    I must respectfully disagree with Mr. Treacher about the suspension part of the punishment for a drug infraction. If there is to be drug testing, then there must be consequences for a positive test.
    Forfeiture of medals / results and a reseasonable-length suspension are appropriate. Suspensions need to be part of the punishment to hopefully deter anyone tempted to knowingly take a PED. In this case, the punishment seems to fit the “crime”.

  4. Mary Harada - June 22, 2010

    Perhaps an object lesson to all – do not take otc medications without knowing what is in them and do not take the word of a salesperson in a store. If one has followed the anti-doping issues over the last 20 years or so – cold remedies have been the cause of positive drug tests in a number of cases. The culprit is ephedrine – a decongestant.
    I am not sure that a 2 month suspension “fits the crime” as there was no apparent intention here to cheat. The intention was to deal with a stuffed nose.
    As for the suggestion above that drug testing money should be used for “scholarships” for travel – my question is – what drug testing money? We are all going to be charged a fee for drug testing for any masters meet that has drug testing. USATF masters does not have a pot of gold into which it is dipping for drug testing.
    Money collected for drug testing should be used for drug testing and not for any other purpose.

  5. Rob D'Avellar - June 22, 2010

    How are two-month suspensions determined versus two-year suspensions?

    Will the upcoming drug testing protocol indicate which drugs are minor infractons and which are major?

    And maybe I am missing something here…but how did Geraldine get a two-month suspension, announced by Stan on June 21, that expires on June 26? Her suspension was retroactive to April? I guess maybe she got “time served”.

  6. simpson - June 23, 2010

    people should all get the same consequences if tested positive

  7. Dan Murdock - June 23, 2010

    Mary – That’s the point. It seems as if she wasn’t trying to cheat but deal with a cold, so a 2 month suspension which basically equates to “time served” still makes the point that each individual is reponsible for whatever he or she puts in her body. By writing “crime”, I was indicating I doubted her intentions to gain an unfair advantage.

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