A Scottish Rugby player has been banned from all sport for a period of eight years following a second Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV).

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A banned substance was found in a sample given by Preston Lodge RFC player Darren Eales, who had previously been banned for similar doping offences. Eales claimed it was from a contaminated supplement, but provided no evidence to prove that was the case.

A statement by the SRU reads: “UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) collected an in-competition urine sample from Mr Eales on 23 February 2019 after a match between his team, Preston Lodge RFC and Dumfries Saints RFC. Analysis of Mr Eales’ A Sample returned an Adverse Analytical Finding (AAF) for stanozolol.

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Shaun Edwards is absolutely ruthless:

“Stanozolol is an anabolic steroid that is derived from testosterone. The drug is used to enhance performance and is prohibited from sport at all times under the 2019 WADA Prohibited List.”

Speaking on the case, UKAD’s Director of Operations, Pat Myhill commented: “The decision to ban Mr Eales from sport for eight years shows the serious consequences of repeated attempts to cheat. The World Anti-Doping Code provides longer bans for second offences and this is a clear message that repeated cheating will not be tolerated.”

The case was referred by UKAD to the National Anti-Doping Panel (NADP) in July 2019. After affording Mr Eales numerous extensions, the NADP eventually imposed an eight-year ban in November 2020 after determining the case on the papers.

Mr Eales did not provide any evidence to verify his claim that he had used a contaminated supplement. Taking into consideration his provisional suspension, Mr Eales’s ban started on 23 February 2019 and will expire at midnight on 22 February 2027.

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A Scottish Rugby spokesperson said: “Scottish Rugby takes a zero-tolerance approach to any use of prohibited substances to enhance performance. The length of this sanction, at 8 years for a second doping offence, is welcomed as a warning to others and ensures Mr Eales will not be able to play rugby again until 2027.

“Even though the playing season across Scotland has been curtailed by the Covid-19 pandemic there is still the same anti-doping policies and measures in place, and we encourage any feedback from within the rugby community if there is suspicion of anyone using illegal products.”

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