RFL release statement after player is cleared to return after violating anti-doping rules in time for Wheelchair Rugby League World Cup

The RFL have today released a statement following the decision to allow Wayne Boardman to be included in the England Wheelchair Rugby League World Cup Squad.

The statement reads:

Following today’s statement by UK Anti-Doping, the RFL and England Performance Unit confirm the background to Wayne Boardman’s inclusion in the England squad for the forthcoming Wheelchair Rugby League World Cup.

On being informed of Wayne Boardman’s Adverse Analytical Finding following last summer’s international against Wales, he was, in accordance with the Anti-Doping Regulations, provisionally suspended from all competitions.  This meant he was not considered for the home Tests against France last November.

Following the decision of the National Anti-Doping Panel in February 2022, that the Anti-Doping Rule Violation charges were proved, but that there should be no period of ineligibility on the basis of the Player having ‘no fault or negligence’, the player’s suspension from the game was lifted.

Given the importance to the RFL of the sport being clean, the RFL convened an England eligibility panel – which also ruled, having considered all the circumstances, that the player could be considered for selection for the England Team.

He has trained with England since his suspension was lifted, and his form has earned him selection for the RLWC.  Following an appeal which was heard by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, the original decision of ‘no fault or negligence’ has been replaced by one of ‘no significant fault or negligence’ and a 13-month period of ineligibility imposed.  This expired in July 2022 and Wayne Boardman is therefore eligible to play Rugby League.

In light of the appeal decision, the England eligibility panel determined that Wayne Boardman should be available for World Cup selection.

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