Four-year doping ban for Welshman

Date published: August 25 2015

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World Rugby has confirmed that Welsh sevens international Carl Townsend has been suspended for four years for an anti-doping rule violation.

The 27-year-old underwent an in-competition urine test on 7 June, 2015 at the Rugby Europe Grand Prix 7s in Moscow, Russia. Upon analysis, his sample was found to contain the presence of the anabolic steroid Oxandrolone, which is listed in Section 1.1a of the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) list of prohibited substances.

The player accepted that he had committed an anti-doping rule violation and waived his right to an oral hearing. In considering all aspects of the case, the committee decided to impose a four-year suspension, in accordance with the World Rugby regulations and the WADA Code. The suspension will run until midnight on 28 June, 2019.

"World Rugby operates a zero-tolerance policy on doping. Players are solely responsible for any prohibited substance found in their body and this decision sends a clear message to all players on the risks of taking a banned substance," read a statement from rugby's governing body.

"This particular case also highlights the dangers of using supplements and the need for players to be vigilant and aware of what they put into their bodies at all times, as the consequences to their careers could be significant.

"World Rugby has in place a comprehensive education programme which continues to evolve on www.keeprugbyclean.com and World Rugby continues to run mandatory education across its events. The latest e-learning programme highlights the dangers and consequences of doping.

"Given the time for an appeal has elapsed without the player exercising that right, the decision is now final and binding."

With thanks to World Rugby

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