FORMER St Kilda forward Ahmed Saad has admitted to using banned substance methylsynephrine unwittingly on match days before he was suspended from the game for 18 months.

Saad tested positive to the substance earlier this year after consuming the sports drink 'Before Battle', which is banned on match days but not during the week.

It is the same substance to which world champion sprinters Tyson Gay and Asafa Powell, among others, tested positive earlier this year.  

The 24-year-old, who was an ambassador for the drink's producer Viking Protein, said he took the product because it was given to him by a trusted mentor and didn't seek approval for the energy drink.  

"I wish I did [check it]," he told radio station SEN in a pre-recorded interview on Tuesday afternoon.  

"We did go through courses, but from where I got the product was someone who was kind of like a mentor and a family member for me. 

"I had that much trust with him as if a coach had given me that product. It was exactly like I'd take it if the club had told me to."

"He actually didn't check if it was banned or not and I didn't either because it came from him."

Saad failed a post-match drug test in July and started a provisional suspension in August.

He will be able to nominate for the 2014 NAB AFL Draft and return to the AFL, if he is re-drafted, in February 2015.

Under new World Anti-Doping Authority regulations to be introduced on January 1, 2015, Saad could train with a club while he serves the last month of his ban.

St Kilda has been committed to helping the small forward handle his suspension and the club is open to the possibility of re-drafting him for the 2015 season.

Saad's immediate plans, however, were to make sure 2014 was not a wasted year.

"At the end of the day I've got to move forward and that's life," he said.

"Something went wrong and now I've got to deal with it and look to the future.

"I want to make this year a foundation for me to build on so that whether I do come back and play a year or five, at least I've got something that I've actually set up in this year."

Saad has recently completed an anti-doping training course and said he hoped to use his experiences in 2013 to help other athletes avoid finding themselves in a similar situation.

"That all came down to personal choice, it's not all part of my rehabilitation process or the AFL have told me to do it," he said.  

"It's something I thought maybe I could do and help out ... all I want to do is help out.

"If I can help one or two others to not go through what I did, that's enough for me."  

Having taken the long road into the AFL as a mature-age recruit, Saad said he had worked hard to earn his chance and he did not think his career was over.

He pledged to return in 2015 re-energised.

"It's devastating and it does crush me, but it's only put some fuel in me to come back better," he said.  

"I don't think it's an end now, I don't think my career's over.

"I'm going to work hard to make sure I'm back ... and hopefully I can get picked up again."

Twitter: @AFL_Nathan