Rugby Union player Hihetah banned for four years

Rugby Union player Stephen Hihetah, of Hull RUFC, has been suspended from all sport for a period of four years following an Anti-Doping Rule Violation.

Mr Hihetah tested positive for the presence of three prohibited substances, following an out-of-competition urine Sample test, on 21 February 2019, at a Hull RUFC training session.

Analysis of Mr Hihetah’s urine Sample returned Adverse Analytical Findings for the following:

  1. stanozolol metabolites stanozolol-N-glucuronide and epistanozolol-N-glucuronide;
  2. metandienone metabolite 17β-hydroxymethyl-17α-methyl-18-norandrost-1, 4, 13-triene-3-one; and
  3. tamoxifen metabolite 3-hydroxy-4-methoxy-tamoxifen.

Mr Hihetah was charged with a breach of World Rugby Regulation 21.2.1 - "Presence of a Prohibited Substance or its Metabolites or Markers".

UK Anti-Doping’s Chief Executive, Nicole Sapstead said: “We are seeing an increasing number of instances where an athlete falls foul of anti-doping regulations, claiming contamination with a prohibited substance, of a supplement they have ingested.

“It’s important for athletes at all levels to, where possible, take a food-first approach to nutrition and then if they still feel they require supplements, to seek advice from a dietician or medical professional. 

“All supplements should be double checked on Informed Sport prior to use, but it’s important to note this only provides risk minimisation, it is not a guarantee that the product is free from prohibited substances. If in any doubt, it is simply not worth the risk.”

The period of ineligibility shall apply from the 12 June 2019 to 11 June 2023 inclusive.