Amateur Irish Touring Car driver Gareth Hayden has been banned from the sport for 15 months after testing positive for a banned substance. 

Following a race in the Irish Touring Car Championship in Mondello Park on 7 June of 2015, Hayden was selected for testing.

The 35-year-old driver's sample tested positive for the presence of a the prohibited substance, Benzoylecgonine which is a metabolite of cocaine.

Hayden was provisionally suspended for 15 months by Motorsport Ireland on 6 July 2015 and following a hearing, that suspension has been ratified.

During that hearing Hayden claimed that his drink had been spiked by a third party, a claim that was backed up by witnesses he called to the hearing.

The panel at the hearing concluded that it was "more probable than not" that "the cocaine entered Mr Hayden's body by virtue of his drink being spiked".

However despite this, the hearing ruled that "it cannot be said that Mr Hayden bore no fault or negligence" and as a result imposed a suspension.

The suspension was however, reduced from what would have been a standard two-year ban.

A joint statement from Motorsport Ireland and Sport Ireland confirmed the suspension which will keep Hayden out of action until October of this year.