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Rugby league player banned for four years after testing positive for banned substance

UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) has confirmed that Rugby League player Rowland Kaye has been banned from all sport for a period of four years following a first Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV) for the Presence of a Prohibited Substance in his urine Sample.

On 5 January 2022, UKAD collected an Out-of-Competition urine Sample from Mr Kaye at a Hunslet RLFC training session. Analysis of Mr Kaye’s Sample returned an Adverse Analytical Finding (AAF) for a long-term Metabolite common to both oxymetholone and methasterone, namely 18-nor-17β-hydroxymethyl-17α-methyl-2α-methyl-5α-androst-13-en-3-one.

Both oxymetholone and methasterone are anabolic androgenic steroids listed under S1.1 of the 2022 World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List. They are non-Specified substances that are prohibited in sport at all times.

On 4 March 2022, UKAD notified Mr Kaye of the AAF and issued him with a Provisional Suspension from sport. On 20 April 2022, Mr Kaye admitted the ADRV but argued his conduct was not intentional, and that he bore no fault or negligence.

UKAD charged Mr Kaye on 21 October 2022 with the commission of an ADRV pursuant to Article 2.1 of the UK Anti-Doping Rules for the Presence of a Prohibited Substance or its Metabolites or Markers in an Athlete’s Sample.

On 14 December 2022, My Kaye’s case was heard before an independent tribunal of the National Anti-Doping Panel (‘NADP’). The tribunal assessed the evidence from both parties and by a decision dated 4 January 2023, issued Mr Kaye with a four-year ban from sport.

Mr Kaye appealed the tribunal’s decision. On 26 April 2023, an appeal tribunal of the NADP upheld the first instance decision, concluding that Mr Kaye had been unable to prove how the Prohibited Substance had entered his system or prove that ingestion of the Prohibited Substance was not intentional. The four-year ban issued by the first instance tribunal therefore remains in place and is deemed to have commenced on 4 March 2022 (the date Mr Kaye was provisionally suspended) and will expire at midnight on 3 March 2026.

Speaking on the case, Hamish Coffey, UKAD Interim Director of Operations, said:

“Under the UK Anti-Doping Rules, strict liability means an Athlete is solely responsible for what goes into their body. It is down to the Athlete to prove how the substance got into their system. Supplements are never 100% risk-free and UKAD advises caution when using them in sport: always assess the risk, assess the need and assess the consequences before taking them. Athletes who break the Anti-Doping Rules, risk facing a lengthy ban from sport.”

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, and the serious repercussions of a positive test.”

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