Hamilton Academical midfielder Simon Mensing insists he is 'completely innocent' after describing his four-week suspension for testing positive for a banned substance as a 'fiasco'.
Mensing has missed the past month for the Accies after UK Anti-Doping confirmed he had tested positive for the stimulant methylhexaneamine in late December following the 1-0 defeat by Aberdeen.
However, the 28-year-old has explained the circumstances which led to his four-week ban and insists he had no way of knowing that a banned substance was in a dietary supplement which he had been using.
"This whole saga has been a nightmare for me and my family and can only be described as a fiasco," said Mensing in a statement.
"I should make it clear that I would never have taken any banned substance in a million years - and made every effort to check in advance that the dietary supplement I did take was clean.
"I am glad it has been recognised by the anti-doping authority that I did not know that the supplement was contaminated by something that I now know is called methylhexaneamine. They also accepted that I had made no effort to improve or enhance my performance as I did not know I had ingested the substance.
"However, it still leaves a bitter taste that I have been prevented from playing because the rules are that if any substance is found in your body, whether you knew or not, then you bear responsibility. It's strict liability and that is very hard to take when you are completely innocent."
Mensing had been using the dietary supplement from September last year and has called for greater information to be made available to footballers.
He added: "I did everything I could to check that it was all right and when I gave my routine urine sample at the end of the game on December 29 I told the testers I was taking this. I made no attempt to hide it.
"What makes this even more of a nightmare is there was no way of knowing that this substance was in what appeared to be a perfectly good dietary supplement.
"Furthermore, the system is such that there is not any easy way to find out about these things. If regulations are going to be enforced like this then even more information needs to be made available to players from the footballing authorities.
"The whole saga has been hugely frustrating but my conscience is absolutely clear.
"I am very grateful for the support of my family and Hamilton Accies and I am now just glad to be getting back to playing for the club."