Former West Bromwich Albion defender Shane Nicholson has revealed that he always carried along a sample of clean urine in order to fool the drug testers.
Nicholson joined the Premier League side back in February 1996 for a fee of £150,000, back when the club was still in the Division 2 of English football. However, in his second season at the Hawthorns, the left-back was suspended after he failed a drug test, as he tested positive for traces of amphetamines.
And now, Nicholson has revealed the attempts he made to keep the authorities from finding out about his drug habits.
Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live on Monday, he revealed (via Birmingham Mail): “I went to West Bromwich Albion. I knew I’d get tested at some stage because they’d said they were going to come and randomly test me, which meant they could test me on any day.
“So I had to be a bit careful, hence me taking my own sample. Because of the addictive personality, you’re very devious so I carried my own urine around with me. A clean sample so the next time I got tested, I could use that.
“When they came I’d lasted three months without taking any drugs, but my drinking had picked up because I wasn’t taking any drugs. I took the test, I knew I’d pass it. I went out that weekend and did what I was going to do, I got absolutely wasted. I went back into training the following Monday, me thinking I was very clever.
“I wasn’t that clever because the testers were there again the following week to test me again and of course I was going to fail. But I just thought to myself if I don’t take the test and do a runner they can’t fail me. By not doing the test it’s classed as failing anyway.”
“The rest is history, I failed my second test and got banned indefinitely and spent four months in a clinic in Southampton.”
Following his rehabilitation, his ban was lifted in 1998, and he then went on to play for the likes of Chesterfield, Stockport County, Sheffield United, Tranmere Rovers, Lincoln City, and Boston United.