Scotland's already dwindling chances in the World Cup were further reduced on Monday (5 June) with the news that Willie Johnston had been banned from the competition after a positive dope test result.
SCU Crowd at party
SCU Military officer at party
SV PAN ROUND Various Scottish players and guests (4 shots)
SCU Reporter interviews Johnston
REPORTER: "When did you first hear about this allegation?"
JOHNSTON: "This afternoon. It's the first time I've heard about it."
REPORTER: "Are many drugs or stimulants taken at all, because I understand you were suffering from hay fever or something of the sort?"
JOHNSTON: "Got a heavy cold. I don't know what it's about."
REPORTER: "You have another test to undergo on Monday?"
JOHNSTON: "So I believe I do."
REPORTER: "Are you quite confident at the end of the day...that..."
JOHNSTON: "Yeah...I never took anything like that in my life."
REPORTER: "Thank you."
The drug allegedly taken by Johnston, Fencamfanin, is normally given as an anti-depressant, and has the effect of stimulating the central nervous system. A leading medical expert recently appointed to the Sports Council in Britain, Professor Arnold Beckett said that Fencamfanin was available in one commercial product, but this was used for treating fatigue, and not ailments like hayfever.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Scotland's already dwindling chances in the World Cup were further reduced on Monday (5 June) with the news that Willie Johnston had been banned from the competition after a positive dope test result. The Scottish Football Association Secretary Ernie Walker announced that Johnston would not be able to take any further part in the World Cup, nor in any future internationals. Johnston finally admitted taking the stimulant before Scotland's match against Peru on Saturday (3 June), but initially he had denied all allegations.
SYNOPSIS: Team spirit was very much down after the Saturday defeat, but at a party for players, officials and press in Cordoba on Sunday, they appeared to have forgotten their troubles. Team manager Ally MacLeod refused to comment on the initial dope test result. Before leaving Scotland for Argentina, he had said Johnston was perhaps the man who could lead the team to win the World Cup. Johnston's career to date has been punctuated with cautions and suspensions for various reasons, but his ability has never been questioned. After Saturday's match, he and Kenny Dalglish had been chosen at random for a dope test, in accordance with the World Cup rules.
But when he was asked about his reaction to the first positive result, Johnston was still adamant that he had not taken anything he shouldn't have before the match against Peru.