Brandon Staples: Yorkshire Carnegie flanker given four-year doping ban

Rugby player kicks a ball
Yorkshire Carnegie are sixth in the Championship

Yorkshire Carnegie's South Africa-born flanker Brandon Staples has been banned for four years after testing positive for the presence of three steroids.

He is the first professional rugby union player to test positive for a performance-enhancing substance since 2011, says the Rugby Football Union.

The 20-year-old tested positive for Dehydrochloromethyl-Testosterone, Metandienone and Stanozolol during a test after training on 9 August, 2017.

His ban runs until 6 September, 2021.

Staples has been unavailable to Yorkshire, who play in the Championship - English rugby union's second tier, since he was provisionally suspended last September.

He claimed the adverse analytical finding came as a result of consuming a nutritional drink while on holiday in May 2017.

The RFU's Anti-Doping and illicit drugs programme manager Stephen Watkins said it acts as "a reminder to all that we cannot be complacent in our efforts to keep rugby a clean sport".

He added: "Education and deterrence remain core pillars to our anti-doping strategy and we must ensure we continue to educate players of the risks involved in supplementation.

"Ultimately individuals are responsible for what they put into their bodies and this case highlights what can happen if a player is not vigilant."

His case also went to an appeal panel, which upheld the original decision.

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