Select Edition

Northern Northern
Southern Southern
Global Global
New Zealand New Zealand
France France

Rhys Webb dealt career-ending doping ban

By Josh Raisey
Rhys Webb at the end of the 2023 Guinness Six Nations Rugby Championship match between Italy and Wales at the Olimpic Stadium (Stadio Olimpico) in Rome, Italy, on March 11, 2023. (Photo by Lorenzo Di Cola/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Former Wales scrumhalf Rhys Webb has been handed a four-year ban by the French Anti-Doping Agency (AFLD) after testing positive for human growth hormone (HGH).

ADVERTISEMENT

The 35-year-old joined Pro D2 outfit Biarritz last summer but was provisionally suspended just days into the new season after returning a positive test.

An investigation was launched, with the 40-cap Welshman’s A and B samples both testing positive.

Webb’s Biarritz career only lasted one game, which saw him score on debut against Colomiers.

He has now been banned for four years, ending in 2027, which will very likely end his professional playing career as he will be 38 by the time he is permitted to play again.

Fixture
Internationals
Australia
36 - 28
Full-time
Wales
All Stats and Data

Webb’s lawyer Dominique Laplagne shared a statement on Instagram shortly after the AFLD’s verdict reaffirming his client’s innocence and informing that they have lodged an appeal to overturn the decision.

The statement reads: “The sanction imposed on Rhys Webb is not final, and we have immediately instructed a lawyer at the Conseil d’Etat to lodge an appeal to overturn the AFLD’s decision.

“In the meantime, Rhys wishes to reaffirm his innocence, pointing out that he has never undergone any other disciplinary procedure, of any kind, during his long career as a professional athlete and has never used any doping product, growth hormone in particular.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Rhys feels the decision is an injustice, especially given the incompetencies found from the AFDL’s entire testing process and we consider that:
– his essential rights have been ignored throughout the procedure
– the conditions under which the test was carried out and the samples taken did not comply with the Sports Code
– the samples were not transported in conditions that ensured their integrity
– the variability of the results between the two analyses of bottles A and B, only 6 weeks apart, with a drop in blood GH of 31%, whereas a maximum of 15 to 20% is tolerated in any human biological assay, calls into question the reliability of the analysis
– Over and above these scientific elements, the AFLD itself has breached the most elementary rules, particularly in terms of confidentiality and loyalty, since we have not been able to access all the analysis.”

The document issued by the AFLD confirmed that Webb is prohibited from the following:

“To participate, in any capacity whatsoever, in a competition authorized or organized by an organization that is a signatory to the World Anti-Doping Code or one of its members, by a professional league or an organization responsible for international or national events that are not signatories, by a sports federation, or giving rise to the award of prizes in cash or in kind.

“To participate in any activity, including training, training or exhibitions, authorized or organized by an organization that is a signatory to the World Anti-Doping Code or one of its members, by a professional league or an organization responsible for international or national events that are not a signatory, or by a sports federation, a professional league or one of their members, unless these activities are part of recognized education or rehabilitation programs related to the fight against doping.

ADVERTISEMENT

“To exercise the functions of management staff or any administrative activity within a sports federation, a professional league, an organization that is a signatory to the World Anti-Doping Code or one of their members, as well as those of a sports educator defined in Article L. 212-1 of the Sports Code.

“And to take part in any sporting activity involving national or international level athletes and financed by a public person.”

Related

Watch the World Rugby U20s Championship live and for free on RugbyPass TV. Register here now
*Unavailable in Africa, NZ, Fiji, Samoa, Papua NG and Tonga

ADVERTISEMENT

Join free

LIVE

{{item.title}}

Trending on RugbyPass

USER NOTICE:

As of today you will need to reset your password to log into RugbyPass to continue commenting on articles.

Please click the ‘Login’ button below to be redirected and start the account validation and password reset process.

Thank you,

Comments

20 Comments
E
Ed the Duck 14 days ago

Wonder how long he’s been at it?

T
Thomas 14 days ago

What a foolish self-sabotage.

M
MattJH 14 days ago

He could take up jiu jitsu. No drug testing in that sport and some of the athletes like Masters Of The Universe characters.

B
Bull Shark 14 days ago

Where’s that chop who always has so much to say about doping?

Ja nee

T
Tom 14 days ago

Apparently a lot of doping in grassroots rugby in Wales, not surprised that there is at least one pro player on the juice. I've never really thought about this before but over the years there have been some Welsh internationals with massive arms. Some bloody big Boks too, again didn't think anything of it until Diyanti and Jantjies were banned. I'd like to think Kriel is juicing because I'd hate to think someone could be so genetically superior to me… but I actually don't think he's juicing, just a freak of nature haha.

B
Barry 14 days ago

Doping just to cut it in the French 2nd Division!?

I remember he set up a business/coaching venture focused around performance and strength conditioning. Looks very silly now.

Total plum.

Load More Comments

Join free and tell us what you really think!

Sign up for free
ADVERTISEMENT

Latest Features

Comments on RugbyPass

TRENDING
TRENDING Ex-Super Rugby flyer helps eliminate Ma’a Nonu & Matt Giteau’s Legion Ex-Super Rugby flyer helps eliminate Ma’a Nonu & Matt Giteau’s Legion
Search