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Rugby league player banned for three years for the use of banned substance

UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) has confirmed that Rugby League player Russell Spiers 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 a Prohibited Substance in his urine Sample.  

On 18 May 2022, UKAD collected an Out-of-Competition urine Sample from Mr Spiers at a Midlands Hurricanes’ squad training session. Analysis of Mr Spiers’ Sample returned an Adverse Analytical Finding (AAF) for boldenone and its Metabolite 17β-hydroxy-5β-androst-1-en-3-one.

Boldenone is listed under S1 of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) 2022 Prohibited List as an Anabolic Androgenic Steroid (AAS). It is a non-Specified Substance that is prohibited at all times.

On 26 August 2022, UKAD notified Mr Spiers of the AAF and issued him with a Provisional Suspension from that date.  On 2 November 2022, UKAD charged Mr Spiers with the commission of ADRVs for the Presence and Use of a Prohibited Substance. Mr Spiers responded within 20 days of the Charge Letter to admit the ADRVs and accepted the asserted period of Ineligibility of four years.

In accordance with ADR Article 10.8.1, Mr Spiers was able to reduce the asserted period of Ineligibility to three years. UKAD issued Mr Spiers with a three-year ban, which is deemed to have commenced on 26 August 2022 and will expire at midnight on 25 August 2025.

Speaking on the case, Jane Rumble, UKAD Chief Executive, said: “Boldenone is an anabolic steroid that can increase an athlete’s muscle mass, enhancing their performance. There is no place for anabolic steroids in sport, and there are serious consequences for athletes caught taking them.”

Midlands Hurricanes have made the following statement:

“The club was informed today that Russell Spiers had been subject to investigation regarding a breach of UKAD Anti-Doping rules during the course of last year.

“Spiers left the club (retirement) in June 2022, following his retirement UKAD notified him in August 2022 that he had failed a test taken at a Hurricanes training session in May 2022. Following investigation, he was charged in November to which he admitted the violation and accepted the charges.

“The club would take this moment to emphasise its position, that there is no place in the sport for use of performance enhancing substances and we fully support the decision made by UKAD. As a club we will continue to work with the RFL and our players to remove any such breaches from the sport.”

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