Manchester

Leigh Centurions' Sam Barlow given ban for assaulting officer

Sam Barlow Image copyright PA
Image caption Sam Barlow (left) is a prop who has played nine times for Scotland

Leigh Centurions prop Sam Barlow has been given a four-year ban from sport for assaulting an anti-doping officer.

An independent panel found him guilty of "tampering with doping control".

Barlow, 28, pleaded guilty in court to assaulting the UK Anti-Doping Agency official, who visited his home in Halifax, West Yorkshire, in July 2015.

The Scotland international released a statement on Wednesday saying he planned to lodge an appeal against his ban at the High Court.

"I remain in the position I am innocent and in no way, shape or form have I failed, refused or avoided a test," Barlow said.

Barlow will be sentenced for common assault at Bradford Crown Court on 30 September.

"We will not tolerate obstructive or threatening behaviour towards any of our personnel," said Ukad chief executive Nicole Sapstead.

"Whilst incidents such as this are rare, the obstruction of the doping control process in any way is, and will be, taken very seriously."

According to The Sun, Barlow's barrister said at an earlier court hearing that his client's actions were "in no way designed to avoid the test".

Barlow joined Leigh in 2014, and has made 50 appearances for the club. Barlow's ban is back-dated to 23 November 2015 and will run until 22 November 2019.

What happened?

According to evidence heard at the Ukad appeal, anti-doping officer Mark Dean attended Barlow's house at about 21:00 BST on 31 July 2015.

  • Barlow and his partner, Ashleigh Blackwell, initially did not answer the door when Mr Dean rang the doorbell
  • Barlow opened an upstairs window and accused Mr Dean of being a burglar "who was going to be arrested"
  • Barlow then let Mr Dean into his house, where a "physical altercation" ensued, although it is accepted that Mr Dean did not suffer a "physical injury".
  • Although the Ukad document states that "it is unnecessary to go into detail" it says that Barlow was "undoubtedly confrontational".
  • After the "fracas", Ukad instructed Mr Dean to abort the test, which he did, although Barlow now claims to have showed willingness to proceed.
  • Police attended, but refused to arrest Mr Dean as a burglar.

Barlow's ban has been enforced after it was found that he had refused to be tested deliberately, and did not believe that Mr Dean was a burglar.

However, Barlow insists that his actions were in no way related to his willingness to be tested for doping.

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