We are entering the business end of the year as Wigan Warriors, Warrington Wolves, Leeds Rhinos and St Helens jostle for position in Super League and with the Grand Final now firmly in front of clubs with Wembley now in the rear view mirror.
In the Championship below, clubs are presently dreaming of Super League and emulating Leigh Leopards success.
Teams like Featherstone Rovers, Sheffield Eagles, Halifax Panthers and Bradford Bulls are all dreaming.
But as we enter the most exciting time of the season, we have been greeted with some disappointing news with two players, including a former Super League player, banned for three years due to use of illegal substances.
UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) has confirmed that Rugby League player Ryan Snowden has been banned from all sport for a period of three years, following first Anti-Doping Rule Violations (ADRVs) for the Use and Presence of Prohibited Substances in his urine Sample.
On 13 December 2022, UKAD collected an Out-of-Competition urine Sample from Mr Snowden at a Batley Bulldogs RLFC squad test. Analysis of Mr Snowden’s urine Sample returned Adverse Analytical Findings (AAFs) for ostarine (enobosarm) and clenbuterol.
Mr Snowden responded to UKAD’s Notice letter on 16 March 2023 admitting the ADRVs, explaining that he had taken a supplement that contained the Prohibited Substances.
UKAD charged Mr Snowden with both ADRVs on 05 April 2023, which Mr Snowden promptly accepted.
Mr Snowden’s three-year ban from all WADA Code-compliant sport commenced on 10 February 2023 and will expire at midnight on 09 February 2026.
Meanwhile, former Castleford Tigers man Rob Worrincy has also been banned after testing positive for an illegal substance.
On 20 January 2023, UKAD collected an Out-of-Competition urine Sample from Mr Worrincy at a Hunslet RLFC squad training session. Analysis of Mr Worrincy’s urine Sample returned Adverse Analytical Findings (AAFs) for ostarine (enobosarm), ibutamoren and GW1516 Metabolites; GW1516-sulfoxide and GW1516-sulfone.
Ostarine is listed under section 1.2 of the 2023 WADA Prohibited List as an Anabolic Agent. Ibutamoren is listed under section 2.4 of the 2023 WADA Prohibited List as a Peptide Hormone. GW1516 is listed under section 4.4 of the 2023 WADA Prohibited List as a Hormone and Metabolic Modulator. All three substances are prohibited at all times.
Speaking on the case, Hamish Coffey, UKAD’s Director of Operations said: “There is no place for anabolic steroids in sport and there are serious consequences for athletes caught taking them.
It is important that all athletes follow the Anti-Doping Rules and understand the risks associated with using supplements.”
The Rugby Football League added: “We support UKAD in their determination to ensure that sport is clean, and therefore in their testing programme in and out of competition, of part-time as well as full-time players. This is another example of how strict liability places responsibility on all athletes in these matters.”