Welsh rugby league player handed four-year ban

Scorpions player, Paul Songhurst has become the fourth player from the same team to be banned from sport in the past 12 months, following bans handed to Harry Cartwright, Ashley Bateman and Ross Bevan.

The South Wales Scorpions player, 24, tested positive for the steroid drostanolone during an out-of-competition test at a training session on 23rd February 2015.

Songhurt’s ban will run for four years, meaning that he will be unable to compete until at least February 2019.

The ban makes Sonhurst the third British athlete to be handed a four-year ban following WADA’s decision to introduce more severe penalties as part of their 2015 update to the code.

Speaking to BBC Sport, UKAD’s chief executive, Nicole Sapstead said:

Intentional doping will not be tolerated at any level of sport.

In a large participation sport, such as rugby league, we have anecdotal evidence which suggests that those who dope do so because they do not think that they will be tested and think they will never be caught.

Not only do they cheat the team-mate who they have deprived of a place on the team, but they do not take into account the serious risk to their health and the damage they are doing to their bodies.

The South Wales Scorpions responded to the ban in a statement:

We are aware that performance enhancing drug use is a serious problem in Welsh sport at the moment, especially in rugby, as was highlighted in the newspapers last week.

We do not condone the use of drugs in sport and since the tests were made on our entire squad during pre-season, everyone in the club has had the appropriate education.

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