The Welsh Rugby Union has issued a strong warning to players at all levels of the game to ensure they train and compete cleanly for the good of the game following suspensions of two players for anti-doping rule violations.
Owen Morgan, who played for Merthyr has been banned from all sport for four years after testing positive for the anabolic steroid drostanolone and the stimulant benzoylcgonine (a metabolite of cocaine) following an in-competition test on 7 March 2015 after a SWALEC Division One West match against Bridgend Athletic.
Greg Roberts, who played for Glynneath has been banned from all sport for two years after testing positive for a metabolite of tamoxifen (a prohibited substance under Section 4, Hormone and Metabolic Modulators, of the WADA Prohibited List) following an in-competition test on 14 February 2015 after a SWALEC Division One West match against RGC1404.
WRU Group Chief Executive Martyn Phillips said, “These bans serve as a strong warning to everyone in the game that non-compliance with anti-doping rules carries grave consequences.
“There is no place for doping within sport, and it certainly doesn’t fit in with the values of rugby union. Whether intentional, or inadvertent, players have a responsibility to themselves, to each other, to their clubs and to the sport to act within the rules and spirit of the game.
“We work closely with UK Anti-Doping and fully adhere to the World Anti-Doping Code. There is no room in the code for carelessness or not knowing, and players are encouraged to check the prohibited lists, found via the WRU website which include over-the-shelf medication and supplements.
“We want to rid our game of these practices and we encourage anyone who has any intelligence of doping taking place to call the WRU or UKAD and help protect our game.”
Nicole Sapstead, UKAD’s Chief Executive said:
“By making the wrong choices, Owen Morgan and Greg Roberts have cheated themselves, their team mates and their sport. Not only have they damaged their sporting careers but they have put their health at risk.
“Our primary focus remains on taking a preventative approach to doping by working to eradicate the source of the problem. We do this in partnership with National Governing Bodies of sport, educating athletes on the risks they take if they decide to take drugs and helping them to make the right choices based on the true spirit of sport.
“At the same time we continue to develop our links with a wide range of law enforcement partners, to combat the production and supply of these substances. In doing so we are protecting sport, and helping to curb the increasingly worrying trend of steroid abuse by young men.”
The Welsh Rugby Union launched a nationwide anti-doping campaign last December to raise awareness of intentional and non-intentional doping.