An RFU grassroots semi-professional player – Greg Goodfellow of Chinnor – has been banned from all sport for two years from March 29, 2019, until March 28, 2021, following the failure of a doping test taken last year in England. 

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A statement from the RFU on the doping ban read: “Mr Goodfellow provided a urine sample at Chinnor’s training ground on February 19, 2019. The sample was found to contain the prohibited substance methasterone.

“Mr Goodfellow was charged with a breach of World Rugby regulation 21.2.1 – the presence of a prohibited substance or its metabolites or markers in a player’s sample.”

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RFU anti-doping and illicit drugs programme manager Stephen Watkins said: “All rugby players are subject to the anti-doping rules which are in place to protect players and the integrity of our sport.”

According to written verdict, the anti-doping panel heard the player’s evidence that a supplement called SD Matrix was responsible for the adverse finding. 

Goodfellow said that following a recommendation from a friend, he purchased the product online on December 29, 2018, from a supplier called MFH Performance and that he thought it was something he could legitimately take. 

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The initial hearing led to Goodfellow being suspended for a period of four years, but this was reduced to two following appeal. 

Charles Hollander QC wrote in his conclusion: “With respect to the anti-doping tribunal, we think the reference to recklessness in may have been confusing. 

“Recklessness is a term that is often misused and further means different things in civil and criminal matters. 

“It is preferable in our view to focus on the words of (section) 21.10.2.3 which require knowledge that there was a significant risk that the conduct would constitute or result in an anti-doping rule violation. We do not consider that was made out on the findings of the ADT.

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“In consequence, we allow the appeal to that extent and substitute a two-year ban for the four-year ban imposed by the ADT.”

 

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