Welsh Rugby player Jones banned for four years

Welsh Rugby Union player Mark Jones has been banned from all sport for a period of four years following a first Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV) for the presence of a banned substance in his Sample.

UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) collected an Out-of-Competition urine Sample from Mr Jones on 25 April 2019 at a Cambrian Welfare RFC training session. Analysis of Mr Jones’ A Samples returned findings for clenbuterol.

Clenbuterol is an anabolic agent used to gain muscle and burn fat. The drug is banned at all times under the WADA 2019 Prohibited List.

On 30 August 2019, UKAD issued Mr Jones with a Notice of Charge and a Provisional Suspension.

Mr Jones accepted the charge but disputed the sanction claiming that he unintentionally purchased cheap meat in South Wales that must have been contaminated. The National Anti-Doping Panel (NADP) considered the case and on 7 February 2020 issued Mr Jones with a four-year ban from sport, which started on 25 April 2019 and will expire at midnight on 24 April 2023.

Mr Jones subsequently appealed the NADP’s decision in his case. His appeal was ultimately dismissed on 24 December 2020 by an NADP appeal tribunal, and his four-year ban remains in place.

Speaking on the case, UKAD Director of Operations, Pat Myhill said: “Clenbuterol is a very powerful substance and is not licensed for human consumption in the UK. It poses a serious risk to health for anyone who takes it.

“But when it comes to sport, the only reason you would take it is to gain an unfair advantage over your opponents, to cheat, to undermine fair play and the values of sport.  

“The NADP investigated and considered Mr Jones’ claims that the findings were potentially the result of meat contamination. However, Mr Jones was unable to provide any evidence to support his claim.”

Technical terms

Clenbuterol is classified as an Anabolic Agent under section S1.2 of the WADA 2019 Prohibited List. It is a non-Specified Substance and is prohibited at all times.

Mr Jones was charged with violating Article 2.1 of the UK Anti-Doping Rules - "Presence of a Prohibited Substance or its Metabolites or Markers in an Athlete’s Sample”.