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Defence Forces pilot suspended after admitting taking cocaine before random drug test

The pilot is expected to resign this week.

Image: Shutterstock/Ulf Wittrock

AN AIR CORPS pilot has been placed on administrative leave after admitting to taking cocaine, TheJournal.ie can reveal.

The experienced pilot was at work in Baldonnel Airfield on Monday when a random drugs test was announced. Before he could be tested, the pilot admitted that he had cocaine in his system. The test still went ahead and the Defence Forces have opened disciplinary procedures.

The pilot has since been banned from flying, as is procedure, and is expected to resign from the Air Corps on Friday.

The Defence Forces confirmed to TheJournal.ie that a random drug test did occur on Monday morning and that one of the tests had come back inconclusive.

A spokesman said:  ”The Defence Forces demands the highest standards of personal and professional behaviour of it personnel and, as part of ensuring this behaviour, conducts Compulsory Random Drug Testing (CRDT) of all employees with approximately 10% of the organisation tested annually.

“As part of a recent CRDT in Casement Aerodrome, Baldonnel, one member of the Defence Forces tested as “unclear” for a controlled substance. An unclear test is not necessarily an indication of a positive result.

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“From a procedural point of view, what occurred on Monday was a screening test.  A screening test produces two possible outcomes : Clear or Unclear.

“Sanction for confirmed positive testing for controlled substances will result in disciplinary procedures being brought with a range of potential punishments, up to and including, dismissal from service.”

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