Welsh rugby player Joseph Phelps banned for four years for steroid use

Steroid abusein sport

A Welsh rugby player has been banned after testing positive for a steroid.

Joseph Phelps of Newbridge RFC cannot play for four years, making him the 13th Welsh rugby union player to currently be serving a ban.

United Kingdom Anti-Doping says Phelps' use of nandrolone was detected in June 2015 and he is banned until July 2019.

A summary of the tribunal published by Ukad said Phelps claimed he had taken Viagra and a "test booster" product to treat erectile dysfunction.

He also claimed not to have taken anything "for performance enhancement in sport" but to treat symptoms he had suffered after sustaining a testicular injury.

A report by Professor David Cowan, Director of the Drug Control Centre at King's College London, confirmed to the tribunal that "the human body does not naturally produce nandrolone in measurable quantities and that nandrolone is a drug administered via deep intra-muscular injection".

Welsh rugby union players serving bans imposed by UK Anti-Doping (Ukad)
Joseph PhelpsGreg Roberts
Adam ButtifantOwen Morgan
Oliver BiltonRussell Kendall
Lee EvansPeter Davies
Nick ClancyDean Colclough
Christopher EdwardsRyan Watkins
Shaun Cleary

Ukad legal chief Graham Arthur said athletes are "solely responsible" for banned substance found in their system.

Arthur added: "This case highlights that all athletes, regardless of level, must be aware, and understand, the risks to their sporting careers if they test positive.

"They must ensure they manage that risk at all times."

Phelps' ban comes less than a month after Ukad chief executive Nicole Sapstead said a "societal problem" could be the cause of steroid drug use in Welsh rugby.

Newbridge play in Swalec Championship.

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