Two Hull RFC players have been banned from sport by the RFU in England for periods of three-and-a-half years and two years for anti-doping rule violations.

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Joseph Stafford was charged with an anti-doping rule violation of evading sample collection in breach of World Rugby regulation 21.2.3 (evading, refusing or failing to submit to sample collection). He has been banned from all sports for three-and-a-half years – from July 16, 2019, to January 15, 2023.

The written judgment into Stafford’s case outlined that he had been selected by UK Anti-Doping to undergo an anti-doping test on February 21, 2019, at Hull’s training ground. 

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“Upon doping control personnel attending the training ground of Hull to collect the player’s sample, the player left the training ground with the assistance of Rupert Kay in order to avoid his sample being collected.”

Kay’s involvement resulted in him being charged with an anti-doping rule violation of complicity in breach of World Rugby regulation 21.2.9 (assisting, encouraging, aiding, abetting, conspiring, covering up or any other type of intentional complicity involving an anti-doping rule violation, attempted anti-doping rule violation or violation of regulation 21.10.12.1 by another person).

Kay has been banned from all sport for two years, from July 16, 2019, until July 15, 2021. The written judgment into his hearing stated: “Joseph Stafford asked Kay to help him leave the training ground in order to avoid his sample being collected.

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“Kay agreed to help Stafford by driving him away from the training ground and thereby assisted Stafford in evading his sample collection.”

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

Hull ply their trade in National League 2 North, a level four league in the English pyramid system, which provides semi-professional competition for teams in the northern half of the country. 

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