Warnock backing for keeper Kenny

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Neil Warnock has called for his former goalkeeper Paddy Kenny to be treated leniently following the Republic of Ireland international's positive drugs test.

Kenny has been suspended by Sheffield United after testing positive for the stimulant ephedrine in a urine sample given after the Blades' play-off semi-final against Preston in May.

Warnock, who managed Kenny during his spell in charge at Bramall Lane, told BBC Radio Sheffield: "Anybody who knows Paddy will tell you he wouldn't have done this deliberately. He's a smashing lad but can be a bit daft and because of that he can get himself into situations, and unfortunately this could be the biggest of the lot."

He added: "There does seem to be a feeling that the FA will be looking to make an example of somebody but I hope it's looked upon as a genuine mistake and he only receives a minimum ban. He is definitely not a cheat."

Kenny, 31, will now be subject to a disciplinary inquiry by the Football Association and will face an independent regulatory commission.

Most drug offences uncovered by in-competition tests carry an automatic two-year ban but ephedrine is a "specified substance" under the World Anti-Doping Agency code, which means there is the potential for a more lenient punishment - possible sanctions range from a reprimand up to a two-year suspension.

It is understood that Kenny will insist the ephedrine entered his system through some cough mixture he took before the match - the stimulant is contained in some cold cures.

FA disciplinary chiefs will need convincing, however, that was the case, and that there was "no significant fault or negligence".

Since 2007, four rugby players - two from rugby union and two from rugby league - have all been served with two-year bans after testing positive for ephedrine.

In three of those cases, the players involved knowingly took ephedrine tablets before a match. In the fourth case the player claimed he took a tablet believing it to be the cold cure Sudafed, which does not contain ephedrine, but was still given a two-year ban.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Sheffield Wednesday
Preston North End
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