Neath RFC: Lee Evans banned for two years after failing drugs test

Lee Evans has played more than 100 times for Neath
Lee Evans has played more than 100 times for Neath

Neath back-row and former captain Lee Evans has been banned from playing rugby for two years after testing positive for an anabolic steroid.

Evans tested positive for drostanolone on 28 July 2014.

The 32-year-old, who cannot play until 27 July 2016, claims he did not make the "appropriate checks" for banned substances while taking supplements.

"The consequences are heartbreaking for me," said Evans. "It goes to show that supplements can cause failed tests."

The player has already completed a UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) advisor's course, and will now work with the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) to educate players.

"While I did not set out to cheat in any way, I was naive and I have suffered as a result," said Evans.

"I failed a drugs test after taking supplements without making the appropriate checks as to whether they contained banned substances.

"After what has happened to me, I'd like to help ensure that doesn't happen to others in the game and that all players are fully aware of the importance of checking each and every ingredient contained in the supplements.

"Anyone who doesn't do this puts themselves at risk."

UKAD director Graham Arthur said there was some evidence to support Evans's claim that he had not knowingly taken the banned substance.

"While the panel agreed that there was some evidence to support Mr Evans's claim, it concluded he hadn't undertaken any serious research into the supplements which contained prohibited substances," said Arthur.

"Supplements are a known risk and there is no guarantee they are ever free from banned substances.

"If an athlete chooses to take a supplement, they should always undertake thorough research before use."

The WRU launched a nationwide anti-doping campaign in December 2014 to raise awareness of intentional and non-intentional doping.

WRU chief executive Roger Lewis said: "The Welsh Rugby Union takes anti-doping offences very seriously and condemns any violation of anti-doping rules."

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