Rugby's steroid trend 'worrying' says UK Anti-Doping boss

Rugby Union
More than 60 rugby players from both league and union have been banned for doping since 2009

The number of young rugby players taking steroids is "worrying", says UK Anti-Doping chief Nicole Sapstead.

She spoke out as three lower-league players were banned from all sport for breaking anti-doping rules.

Andrew Quarry was banned for 12 years for supplying anabolic steroids, while Brandon Walker and Connor Stapley received four and two-year bans.

"The rise in the number of young people turning to steroids continues to be a worrying trend," Sapstead said.

The UK Anti-Doping Agency chief executive urged people with information about steroid use in the sport to get in touch.

Former Kendal RUFC player Quarry received a suspended jail sentence for conspiracy to supply a controlled class C drug in 2013. That led rugby and anti-doping authorities to pursue the player.

"Removing a dealer of anabolic steroids from the game - someone who made a conscious choice to cheat the system and the law - is a positive result for the sport," Sapstead said.

Walker, who was registered with Esher RFC, tested positive for the anabolic steroid oxandrolone in an out-of-competition squad test.

Henley RFC's Stapley tested positive for methandienone and mesterolone but the RFU ruled his offence was not intentional as it was caused by taking a supplement.

Last year, the first rugby player to receive a four-year ban for taking steroids told a BBC Radio 5 live investigation that it was "widespread" among players, with many taking the banned drugs for "body image" reasons.

Daniel Spencer-Tonks, who played both rugby codes, is one of more than 60 union and league players to have banned since Ukad was set up in 2009.

Both the RFL And RFU have said they carry out a comprehensive testing regime.

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