QPR keeper Paddy Kenny believes his enforced break from the game helped turn his career around.
The 32-year-old was banned for nine months in July 2009 for "negligence" as tablets he took for a chest infection contained a banned substance.
Shortly after returning to action, QPR boss Neil Warnock signed Kenny last summer in a £750,000 deal as Sheffield United stalled over a new deal.
And Kenny has repaid Warnock's faith, producing the best form of his career to help the Hoops to the brink of promotion to the Premier League.
The Republic of Ireland international has been fitter and leaner than ever while keeping 21 clean sheets in 38 league games, and Kenny has put it all down to his nine-month ban.
The former Bury keeper was not allowed to train with the Sheffield United squad until the last month of his suspension and that spell in the wilderness has given him a new outlook on both his career and his life.
"I hired a personal trainer, trained with him five times a week, and went to the gym on Saturday on my own," he told the Independent. "Twice a week a friend would hit a few shots at me in the park.
"It was odd being at home everyday. I missed the banter. I played a lot of golf just to keep busy. Saturdays were the hardest, watching the goals come in on Soccer Saturday. Normally, I'd spend the day preparing for a game, then playing. All of a sudden it was taken away from you. I wasn't even allowed in the club.
"When I was allowed back I was fitter than when I left. I think the club were surprised but I'd worked really hard.
"Having that time out made me look at things," Kenny added. "It made me realise what a good job I've got and how lucky I am to have it.
"I'm a different person now. I train differently - a lot harder - and look after myself a lot better. It was a reality check. Off the pitch now it's about my missus, my kids, golf and the dog. I've got quite boring. I suppose that is a good thing for me."
Kenny hit the headlines for other off-field problems during his time at Bramall Lane but that did not deter Warnock from signing him for a third time.
"He had some personal problems which interfered with his career," said the Hoops boss. "But once I knew he had sorted them out I knew he would be a different player. He's an entirely different professional, he's so dedicated.
"People say it was a gamble, but it wasn't really. I had this feeling that this would be his best spell as a goalkeeper and I don't think there is anybody in the country who can touch him when he is like that. I just feel he is 'content', like I am. It's made for a great signing."
While Kenny looks destined for a return to the top flight after helping Sheffield United up in 2006, his former club are threatened with relegation from the Championship as they visit Loftus Road on Monday night.
Many Blades fans feel United deserved better after they stood by Kenny during his ban, but the truth is he had to take a significant pay cut and United stalled over a new deal after Kenny proved his fitness so it was an easy decision when Warnock expressed his interest.
"When I spoke to the gaffer I knew this was where I wanted to be," Kenny added. "I knew what he was like, and he knows what he gets from me.
"We've had our run-ins, but the good thing about him is whatever is said behind closed doors in the changing rooms is forgotten the next day."