Scottish athlete Luke Traynor facing four-year ban over cocaine use
A Scottish athlete is facing a four-year ban after testing positive for cocaine.
Luke Traynor, a cross-country runner who won the Great Scottish Run in 2011, confirmed on social media that a metabolite of cocaine had been found in his system.
Insisting he had taken the drug recreationally, the 26-year-old said: "I am sorry to my family, friends, coaches sponsors, and anybody who has supported my progress at any stage of my career.
"I want to make it completely clear that my violation was in no relation to sport or enhancing performance.
"This happened as a one-off and in a purely social situation with a drug I should never have taken."
Glasgow-born Traynor, who runs for Giffnock North and Tulsa University, has been provisionally suspended from participating in athletics
He added: “I have co-operated fully with all relevant bodies and will now face the severe consequences, the extent to which is still not certain but could be up to a 4 years ban.
“I live a sporting lifestyle to compete. Athletics is my passion. It’s all I think about and it’s what gets me out of bed each morning.
"I am yet to come to terms with the fact that I have ruined this for myself with one senseless act.
“Over the last three weeks I have had the time to reflect on just how much this has and will continue to affect my life.
"I do not seek sympathy, I have accepted my mistake and need to fully come to terms with the final punishment. I only ask that people understand that this was a stupid mistake, had nothing to do with trying to enhance performance and in fact, had the opposite effect.”
Taynor made his senior bow for Great Britain at the IAAF World Half Marathon Champions in Valencia in March last year, finishing 38th overall. He ran personal bests in the 10km and half-marathon events, ranking him third on both Scottish all-time lists.
Injury prevented him from competing towards the end of 2018 but he returned to action at the IAAF World Cross County Championships in Aarhus, Denmark, in March. His last competition was the České Budějovice Half Marathon in the Czech Republic in June, where he finished tenth but collapsed shortly afterwards.
A spokesperson for Scottish Athletics said: "We are aware of the case involving Luke Traynor. “There is a process to be followed and we have to await the outcome of that process which will involve UK Athletics, UK Anti-Doping and Luke himself.”