James Cronin could have his case reopened ©Getty Images

The anti-doping case against Irish rugby union player James Cronin could reopen after a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Sport Ireland and the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland (PSI).

Cronin received a one-month ban in April after an investigation concluded that he had ingested a banned substance due to a medication mix-up.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Munster prop missed no matches after he had tested positive for prednisolone, a synthetic steroid.

It was reported that Cronin had been given the wrong medication from a pharmacy in Cork, which was on the World Anti-Doping Agency's prohibited list and meant for another James Cronin.

He tested positive for the substance after a Champions Cup match against French outfit Racing 92.

Antony Davies, the independent judicial officer for the case, said the player "bears at least some fault", but he was given only a month ban.

Sport Ireland expressed their concern over the short ban but did not appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

New information could arise from the new MoU with PSI, however.

Una May, Sport Ireland's head of anti-doping and a director of ethics and participation, explained to the Irish Times the importance of the new agreement in relation to the Cronin case.

"If the PSI decide to carry out an investigation, there is potential if there was anything else going on, that we might have more evidence and could start a new case," May said.

"It's well known we were concerned the sanction was a little low, in that case, but any appeal, if it was successful, at most might have added a month or two. 

"But the cost and added value of doing that had to balance with the spending of taxpayer money. 

"If the ban had been increased to three months he still would have been out of action because of the pandemic.

"It was a difficult decision for us, if we felt there was a fundamental risk to justice in the sport, and for other players, then we would have pursued it, regardless of the cost. 

"We're not afraid of spending money, and of putting time and energy into the case, but on balance, given the delays with CAS, adding a month or two was not worth it."

Cronin to date has made three appearances for Ireland's national team.