UK Anti-Doping have revealed that a fourth Welsh player has been banned this past month after testing positive for using illegal drugs, Merthyr’s Adam Hoskins joined a list containing Ystalyfera’s Jesse Patton, Aberavon’s Mike Burgess and Ebbw Vale’s Lance Randall. 

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UKAD collected a urine sample from Hoskins in-competition on January 3 this year following a match between Ebbw Vale and Merthyr. Analysis of the A sample returned an adverse analytical finding for cocaine metabolite benzoylecgonine.

Issued with a notice of charge and a provisional suspension on February 3, Hoskins was charged with violating article 2.1 of the anti-doping rules (ADR) – presence of a prohibited substance or its metabolites or markers in an athlete’s sample. 

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In admitting the anti-doping rule violation, Hoskins explained that the adverse finding was the result of cocaine used out-of-competition in a context unrelated to sport performance.

Cocaine is listed under section S6(a) non-specified stimulants of the WADA 2020 prohibited list, which states that the substance is banned in-competition only.

Stacey Cross, UKAD’s deputy director of legal and regulatory Affairs said: “When athletes choose to take recreational drugs, they not only risk breaking the law and endangering their health, but a ban from sport too. Athletes need to be aware that if they use cocaine out-of-competition and later compete in sport, they may face a lengthy ban if the drug is still in their system when tested.”

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Considering Hoskins’ admission, anti-doping rule article 10.11.2 applied in his sanction. His two-year period of ineligibility started on January 3, 2020 (the date of his test), and will expire at midnight on January 2, 2022.

UK Anti-doping had revealed in the past month that two other Welsh Premiership players tested positive for cocaine, Ebbw Vale lock Randall and Aberavon prop Burgess, who were each handed two-year bans.

Ystalyfera’s Patton, though, received a four-year ban on July 6 and will not be allowed to play again until November 2023 following his ban after he tested positive for metendienone, which is classified as an anabolic androgenic steroid.

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