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Armitage: I deserved lengthy ban

Delon Armitage has voiced his remorse over verbally abusing a doping control officer and admitted that he deserved his eight-week suspension.

The England full-back completed the ban seven days ago and is set to make his return in London Irish's Aviva Premiership clash with Exeter on Saturday.

"Looking back at it, no I wasn't surprised to be cited," he said. "What I did was wrong and I regret it. I deserved what I got because of what I did."

Armitage was sanctioned for pushing and verbally abusing the official, who approached him to conduct a routine test immediately after the Exiles' defeat to Bath on New Year's Day.

The 27-year-old's behaviour was described as "aggressive, bullying, persistent and threatening" by a Rugby Football Union appeals panel.

He added: "I've apologised to the officer who didn't deserve it, he was obviously just trying to do his job.

"It shouldn't have happened, regardless of what state I was in.

"It's tough losing a match like that, especially when you're so passionate about the game, but it still shouldn't have happened.

"It was a bitter pill to swallow being banned for eight weeks, which is basically the whole Six Nations, but I had to accept that I'd slipped up.

"I regret what I did and I want to get back playing and start doing the right things on the field."

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