Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Ex-rugby player handed record ban

Former Welsh Rugby Union player Dean Colclough has been handed an eight-year ban

A Welsh rugby player has been handed a record eight-year ban for possessing and trafficking steroids.

Dean Colclough, 34, who was a hooker with Swansea RFC, was still registered as a player with Morriston RFC when he committed the offences.

He was however cleared of another offence of supplying steroids to Sam Chalmers, the 19-year-old son of former Scotland and British Lions fly-half Craig, who was banned for two years testing positive for two anabolic steroids at a Scotland Under-20 training session in May.

UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) said an investigation had been launched after information received from the UK Border Force, which led to Colclough being charged with two anti-doping rule violations: possession and trafficking of anabolic steroids.

Colclough was "closely involved in the running and operating" of a company called Dragon Nutrition Limited (DNL) which "distributed steroids under his own DNL brand", said UKAD in a statement.

The minimum sanction for these offences is four years, but the national anti-doping panel considered the offences to be so serious as to warrant a ban of eight years - until November 2021.

The panel said however it was "not comfortably satisfied" that a product sold by Colclough, which was purchased by Chalmers, contained the steroids that led to his failed test.

UKAD legal director Graham Arthur said: "An independent panel has imposed a significant ban on this athlete, the largest yet to be handed down in the UK for a first offence. It is a significant case for a number of reasons.

"Firstly, it was through our strong relations with the UK Border Force that the case was first brought to our attention. Secondly, this finding demonstrates that everyone in sport has a responsibility to anti-doping, no matter what the level of engagement."

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