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Rugby League player banned for 14 months

Zak Hardaker, formerly of Castleford Tigers RLFC, has been suspended from all sport for a period of 14 months following an Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV).

Mr Hardaker tested positive for the presence of the prohibited substance benzoylecgonine, a metabolite of cocaine, following an In-Competition test on 8 September 2017, at a match between Castleford Tigers RLFC and Leeds Rhinos RLFC.

Mr Hardaker was charged with an ADRV pursuant to Article 2.1 of the Anti-Doping Rules – “Presence of a Prohibited Substance or its Metabolites or Markers in an Athlete’s Sample.”

In determining the appropriate length of ban, the National Anti-Doping Panel (NADP) Tribunal that heard this matter concluded Mr Hardaker was at No Significant Fault or Negligence for the ADRV.

UKAD Chief Executive Nicole Sapstead said: “Regardless of how it got there, every athlete is solely responsible for what is in their system and must adhere to the strict liability principle.

“They must ensure that they take the appropriate steps to manage the risk at all times.”

The period of ineligibility shall apply from the date of the provisional suspension (8 September 2017) until midnight on 7 November 2018.

To read the full judgement, please click here.

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