A grassroots Scottish rugby player has been banned from the sport for two years following an in-competition test at a match between Gala and Edinburgh Academicals in October 2017.
Gala player Craig Russell tested positive for female fertility drug clomiphene which is classed as a specified substance and prohibited at all times under World Anti-Doping regulations.
The player was found to not have, nor ever had, a therapeutic use exemption to use clomiphene.
Russell has been serving an interim ban since October 2017 and will be free to resume playing competitive rugby again in October 2019. He becomes the eighth Scotland based player to be banned for anti-doping offences since 2010.
A spokesman for Scottish Rugby said: “This has been a long, drawn out case but has now been concluded and demonstrates the strict liability stance taken by Scottish Rugby and UK Anti-Doping.
Borders player Craig Russell serves two-year ban for anti-doping offence – https://t.co/Q8wCunwh1c
— Scottish Rugby (@Scotlandteam) July 2, 2019
“It is the responsibility of every player to play and train cleanly and not seek to take short-cuts through the use of prohibited substances.
“We use an intelligence led approach and will act on any credible information received to instigate testing either in or out of competition.”
Confirmation of Russell’s ban comes just weeks after another grassroots player in Scotland was banned for four years following an anti-doping violation.
Borders scrum-half Sean Goodfellow, who also played for Jed-Forest, Hawick and South, was accused of “evading, refusing or failing to submit to sample collection” on August 2, 2018. He has been banned until January 2023.
The UK Anti-Doping ruling on Goodfellow read: “A doping control officer from UKAD called at the home of the respondent at around 06:30 for the purpose of carrying out sample collection (taking a sample of the respondent’s urine in controlled conditions in order that it be later analysed in laboratory conditions to identify the presence of any prohibited substance(s).
“The respondent was present but declined to take part in sample collection on the stated basis that he was not registered with the SRU to play rugby in season 2019/2020 and that he had to get to his work and had insufficient time to take part in sample collection.”
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