Club player handed eight-year ban after second doping violation

Preston Lodge player Darren Eales tested positive to stanozolol last February

Image: © Craig Watson -
Image: © Craig Watson -

A SCOTTISH lower-league club rugby player has been handed an eight-year ban from all sports after a second Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV) for the presence of a banned substance.

Darren Eales of Preston Lodge RFC has been handed the sanction based on the evidence of an in-competition urine sample collected on 23rd February 2019 after a match between his team and Dumfries Saints RFC, which returned an Adverse Analytical Finding (AAF) for stanozolol.

Stanozolol is an anabolic steroid that is derived from testosterone. The drug is used to enhance performance and is prohibited from sport at all times under the 2019 WADA Prohibited List.

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“The decision to ban Mr Eales from sport for eight years shows the serious consequences of repeated attempts to cheat,” said Pat Myhill, UKAD’s Director of Operations. “The World Anti-Doping Code provides longer bans for second offences and this is a clear message that repeated cheating will not be tolerated.”

The case was referred by UKAD to the National Anti-Doping Panel (NADP) in July 2019. After affording Mr Eales numerous extensions, the NADP eventually imposed an eight-year ban in November 2020 after determining the case on the papers. Mr Eales did not provide any evidence to verify his claim that he had used a contaminated supplement.

Taking into consideration his provisional suspension, Mr Eales’s ban started on 23 February 2019 and will expire at midnight on 22 February 2027.

“Scottish Rugby takes a zero-tolerance approach to any use of prohibited substances to enhance performance,” said a Scottish Rugby spokesperson. “The length of this sanction, at eight-years for a second doping offence, is welcomed as a warning to others and ensures Mr Eales will not be able to play rugby again until 2027.

“Even though the playing season across Scotland has been curtailed by the Covid-19 pandemic there is still the same anti-doping policies and measures in place, and we encourage any feedback from within the rugby community if there is suspicion of anyone using illegal products.”

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About David Barnes 3964 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including The Herald/Sunday Herald, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Daily Record, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.


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