Wheelchair Rugby League player Wayne Boardman returns to sport after receiving 13-month ban

UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) can confirm that following proceedings before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), Wheelchair Rugby League player Wayne Boardman has received a 13-month ban from sport following a first Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV) after the detection of a Prohibited Substance in his urine Sample. Mr Boardman’s ban is deemed to have commenced on 26 June 2021 and he is therefore free to participate in sport at the time of this announcement.  

On 26 June 2021, UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) collected an In-Competition urine Sample from Mr Boardman following a Mid-Season International match between England and Wales Wheelchair Rugby League teams. Analysis of Boardman’s urine Sample returned an Adverse Analytical Finding (AAF) for metabolites of oxandrolone. 

Oxandrolone is an anabolic androgenic steroid. The drug is banned at all times under the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List.  

Mr Boardman’s case was first heard by the National Anti-Doping Panel (NADP) and in a decision dated 23 February 2022, the NADP found ADRV charges proved, but ordered that Mr Boardman should not be subject to any period of Ineligibility on the basis he had been able to show he had acted with No Fault or Negligence. 

UKAD sought to appeal the NADP’s decision to impose no period of Ineligibility on Mr Boardman. In light of Mr Boardman’s status as an International Level athlete, The appeal proceedings were heard before the CAS and an oral hearing took place before a Sole Arbitrator on 13 July 2022. 

On 28 September 2022, the CAS issued an Operative Award in respect of the appeal proceedings. The Operative Award set aside the NADP decision dated 23 February 2022 and imposed a 13-month period of Ineligibility on Mr Boardman. The period of Ineligibility imposed was ordered to start from 26 June 2021, the date that Mr Boardman provided a Sample. Mr Boardman’s ban has expired at the time of this announcement, and he is free to participate in sport. 

UKAD awaits receipt of a full Arbitral Award in this matter, including the reasoning of the CAS in relation to the appeal, which will be issued by the CAS in due course.