Football | Daryl Murphy reveals six-week drug ban

Daryl Murphy has revealed that he served a secret ban for using cocaine last season.

The former Republic of Ireland striker has decided to open up about the six-week FA ban in an interview with The Athletic, saying he immediately regretted his decision to use the recreational drug.

Murphy used cocaine on a night out while he was at Nottingham Forest last season, which does not break official WADA rules, but is punishable by the English FA.

The 36-year-old’s ban was not made public due to FA policy, and was served in secret at Forest between October and December last year.

Murphy – who retired from international duty in 2018 after winning 32 caps for the Boys in Green – subsequently joined struggling Bolton this season after being released by Ipswich in the summer, and has scored five goals for the League One strugglers.

“Firstly, I would like to stress that the taking of recreational drugs is something that I don’t condone whatsoever,” Murphy said.

“I served a suspension at the beginning of last season for making a bad decision while on a night out. This was an isolated incident which happened out of competition when we had no game. I immediately regretted it.

“I am not proud of what I did but it’s something I have put behind me as I want to concentrate on my football career.”

Bolton, who are currently rooted to the bottom of England’s third-tier, have also acknowledged the ban in a club statement.

“We are aware of the events which took place prior to Daryl’s arrival at the club,” the statement read.

“Daryl served a suspension and has expressed regret over the incident, which occurred out of competition.

“Daryl is a valued member of the first team squad and the club will be making no further comment on this matter.”