Wales' Gareth Warburton returns to track after serving drugs ban

Gareth Warburton
Gareth Warburton represented Wales at the Commonwealth Games in 2006 and 2010

Welsh athlete Gareth Warburton wants to "move on" with his career after returning to the track for the first time since serving a ban for failing a drugs test.

Warburton, 31, ran an indoor 800m race in Cardiff on Sunday - his first race since failing a test in July 2014.

The runner served a six-month ban but was cleared by UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) of knowingly cheating.

"It's nice to be back," he said after winning in 1 minute 52.58 seconds.

"This is where I train on a daily basis so I've come back here and it's nice to be here for my first race and to compete in front of a home crowd.

"I know everyone here, it's nice to blow those cobwebs out of the way."

A UKAD investigation ruled that Warburton and his Wales team-mate Rhys Williams both took a Mountain Fuel food supplement contaminated with an anabolic steroid.

Williams, a former European 400m hurdles champion, served a four-month ban and both athletes missed the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Gareth Warburton's medals
2005: Silver at European Indoor Championships in Madrid2011: Bronze at European Indoor Championships in Stockholm

However, the investigation concluded that neither athlete knew they were taking an illegal substance, but had not taken enough advice beforehand.

Warburton said he wanted to put the episode behind him and concentrate on trying to qualify for this year's World Championships and the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

"It's been very difficult," he added.

"I'd never imagined this sort of thing could happen to me, but it's happened now and I'm a little bit sick of talking about it.

"But it's behind me now and I want to move on with my career and hopefully everyone else can move on as well.

"The World Championships are this year in Beijing at the Bird's Nest Stadium and that will be an amazing place to go and compete, and then the Olympics a year after.

"I'm 31 now so I haven't got that many opportunities left, so I'm going to make the most of it."

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