Rugby Union player Rainbow banned for four years

Rugby union player Ralph Rainbow has been banned from all sport for a period of four years following a first Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV).

On 12 July 2018, UK Border Force seized a package en route to Mr Rainbow’s home address which contained items used in the process of injecting Human Growth Hormone. Mr Rainbow was interviewed by UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) and admitted attempting to purchase Human Growth Hormone. 

Mr Rainbow was charged by the Rugby Football Union (RFU) with two violations - Possession (by purchase) and Use or Attempted Use. The case was referred to the independent National Anti-Doping Panel (NADP) by the RFU for determination.

The NADP gave Mr Rainbow a four-year ban which, taking into consideration his Provisional Suspension, started on 30 September 2020 and will end at midnight on 29 September 2024.

Speaking on the case, UKAD Director of Operations, Pat Myhill said: “Those attempting to cheat in sport are reminded that Presence of a Prohibited Substance, found as part of an anti-doping test, is only one of the 11 violations that could result in a ban from sport. If you believe that you won’t get caught because you haven’t been tested, you are wrong.

“This case proves that it does indeed take a team to protect clean sport. We know we can’t do it alone, so we work closely with law enforcement and governing bodies, such as UK Border Force and the RFU, to gather and investigate intelligence to expose those attempting to cheat.

“We strongly urge those in sport, and the public, to speak out if they feel something’s wrong - no matter how small the information may be. We need you to do your part to protect your sport too.”

Technical terms

Human Growth Hormone is a non-Specified substance and is prohibited at all times under section S2 of the WADA 2018 Prohibited List.

The RFU charged Mr Rainbow with breaching World Rugby Regulation 21.2.2 – "Use or Attempted Use by a Player of a Prohibited Substance or a Prohibited Method” and 21.2.6 “Possession of a Prohibited Substance or a Prohibited Method by a Player or Player Support Person”.