GALA player Craig Russell has been banned from the sport for two years for use of the prohibited drug clomiphene following an in-competition test at a match between Gala and Edinburgh Academicals in October 2017. As he has been serving an interim ban since failing the test, he will be free to resume competitive rugby this coming October.
Russell tested positive for the female fertility drug which is on the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List, and is therefore banned at all times as an anti-estrogenic substance in the S4 Category of Hormone and Metabolic Modulators. Clomiphene has also appeared as an undeclared ingredient in black market products sold on the internet for performance-enhancing use. The player was found to not have, nor ever had, a therapeutic use exemption to use clomiphene.
He becomes the eighth Scotland based player to be banned for anti-doping offences since 2010.
“This has been a long, drawn out case but has now been concluded and demonstrates the strict liability stance taken by Scottish Rugby and UK Anti-Doping,” said a spokesman for Scottish Rugby. “It is the responsibility of every player to play and train cleanly and not seek to take short-cuts through the use of prohibited substances.
“We use an intelligence led approach and will act on any credible information received to instigate testing either in or out of competition.”