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UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) today confirmed that Welsh Rugby Union player Mr Graham Hale has been suspended from all sport for one year following an Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV).
Hale failed to submit a sample after notification of his requirement to do so at an out-of-competition squad test on 27 September 2016.
On 27 September 2016, a UKAD Doping Control Officer attempted to collect a sample from Mr Hale at a training session at TATA Steel RFC. However, the player failed to provide a sample and was subsequently charged with an ADRV pursuant to Article 2.3 of the World Anti-Doping Code – "Evading, Refusing, or Failing to Submit to Sample Collection".
Hale sought to demonstrate a compelling justification for his failure to comply with Sample collection but this claim was rejected by an independent National Anti-Doping Panel (‘NADP’). However, the NADP ruled that Hale had not acted intentionally and that he bore no significant fault for his violation on account of a cognitive impairment and therefore imposed a period of Ineligibility of one year.
UKAD Chief Executive Nicole Sapstead, said: “Any athlete who participates in WADA compliant sports must adhere to their responsibilities as athletes which are clearly set out in the Anti-Doping Rules. A failure to comply with sample collection procedures is a serious breach of the Anti-Doping Rules and of Athlete responsibilities.”
Hale is therefore banned from all sport from 14 October 2016 until midnight on 13 October 2017.
The full written decision can be found under current rule violations.