Steffon Armitage cleared of doping charge by French Rugby

Steffon Armitage

Toulon flanker Steffon Armitage has been cleared of doping charges by a French Rugby Federation (FFR) disciplinary panel, his club have confirmed.

Armitage, 27, tested positive for morphine after the Top 14 final defeat by Toulouse in June.

The player maintained his innocence and a hearing took place on October 26.

Armitage has now been cleared of any anti-doping violation and will not be suspended, the FFR has told Toulon.

Toulon had claimed the failed test was as a result of taking two anti-inflammatory tablets before the game to combat back pain.

The French club maintained that paracetamol codeine, taken by Armitage, is a medicine authorised by the French Agency for the Fight against Doping.

The player, capped five times by England, had an immediate provisional suspension lifted in August.

The former London Irish player has been tipped for a recall to the England side by his Toulon team-mate Jonny Wilkinson, but England coach Stuart Lancaster is reluctant to select France-based players who are not always available for training camps.