A grassroots player in England has been banned for four years by the RFU for failing a drugs test taken earlier in 2019.


Leigh Dearden, registered as a player for Lincoln RFC, has been banned from all sport for four years following an in-competition test on March 23.

He is banned from the date of his provisional suspensions (May 31, 2019) until May 30, 2023.

Dearden provided a urine sample. That sample was analysed and returned adverse analytical findings for Drostanolone and a metabolite, two metabolites of Oxymetholone, and cocaine metabolite benzoylecgonine. 

All are prohibited substances and included on the 2018 World Anti-Doping Agency prohibited list.

(Continue reading below…)

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Dearden was charged with a breach of World Rugby regulation 21.2.1 – ‘Presence of a prohibited substance or its metabolites or markers in an athlete’s sample’.

He didn’t provide any evidence to conclude that anti-doping rule violation was not intentional. Given this, he was handed a four-year ban by the national anti-doping panel.

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.”

To read the full judgement, please click here.


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