Arsenal hero failed drug test after ‘giving it large’ – then lied to club

Former Arsenal player David Hillier admits he lied to the Gunners when he tested positive for cannabis.

The former central midfielder caused controversy when he tested positive for the Class B substance in 1995 when he was still playing for the north Londoners. While he did not serve an official ban, news of Hillier’s failed drugs test did ripple around English football.

Hillier has previously highlighted the heavy presence of cannabis throughout his life, particularly during his childhood. Nevertheless, with laws and rules on drug utilisation as strict as they were in the 1990s, Hillier realised he had to try and find a way around the difficult predicament he found himself in.

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“I lied didn’t I? I just told them I passive smoked,” Hillier said on the ‘Undr the Cosh’ podcast. “I got tested on the Monday morning, I just went and took a p***, like you do, but I’d been out on the Saturday night, [after] we got beat by Millwall in the cup.

“I went out in Bermondsey that night and I was giving it a bit large, buying Champagne, doing this, doing that, being a right t*** and someone just said, ‘I’ve got some weed. I literally had three or four puffs on it outside and went back in on Monday morning.

“As soon as they called me in, [the following Monday] I thought, ‘oh f*** here we go, I’m f***ed here,’. I was injured at the time, and the tests don’t go through for weeks and weeks and weeks, so you don’t get taken out straight away, as they have to test your sample. Then you have to go back to the place and they test your second sample in front of you.”

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When the results did eventually come around, Hillier cheekily told the Gunners that the presence of the cannabis within his system was not as a result of him smoking the joint himself. “I just said to the club that, and this would be the first time I’ve told anyone this, that it was just passive smoking and that my brother was quite a heavy dope smoker who is a bike rider," Hillier added.

“It [cannabis] was in my house from when we was kids, like my mum, dad, my friends smoking it. It was just a thing where people would sit in the front room and you wouldn’t even think about it.

“I just said, ‘look, I’ve been around him a lot, I’ve been in the car with him', and they accepted that because it was a really low level. It was just four puffs on a joint, I never did it during the season. I got done, and they basically said ‘you haven’t played for six weeks, because you’ve been injured, but we’re going to say that that’s fine. So officially, I’ve not been done, and I’ve not had a ban or anything from football.”

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