UK Anti-Doping has announced English rugby league player John Todd has received a suspension of four years after he tested positive for the presence of anabolic steroid Nandrolone.

Todd is banned from all sport from December 18, 2015 until midnight on 17 December 17, 2019. The 23-year-old from Maryport in Cumbria, who was registered with Whitehaven RLFC in the Kingstone Press Championship, failed an out-of-competition test on November 27 last year. Todd promptly admitted to the offence.

UKAD’s director of legal Graham Arthur, referring to Todd, said this case continues to highlight the worrying and growing trend of steroid use amongst young men. Arthur added UKAD works alongside the Rugby Football League (RFL) to provide players with vital anti-doping education and resources to ensure that they are aware of the risks that steroid use poses to both their health and their sporting careers.

In a statement on the club’s website, Whitehaven RLFC chairman Tommy Todd said the club is very sad to have to announce that John Todd has received a four-year ban due to him taking performance enhancing substances. The Whitehaven RLFC chairman added we are disappointed that he saw fit to do so but would stress that it did not take place during the short period he trained with the club and added he hopes young players take note of how taking these substances has a huge impact on their lives and families and friends. The Whitehaven RLFC chairman also commented that the club has refrained from commenting on rumor about this situation until we had something in the way of confirmation from the RFL and he is somewhat annoyed that after consistently asking the RFL for a definitive ‘statement’ that they chose to release it on their website without informing the club first.

This suspension came after Andrew Quarry received a handed a suspended 12-month prison sentence for dealing with anabolic steroids in 2013. Quarry was named among three English rugby union players to have been given lengthy bans from the sport. The Rugby Football Union suspended Quarry, registered with North 1 West outfit Kendal RUFC, with a suspension of 12 years. This follow his guilty plea at Carlisle Crown Court in July 2013 to conspiracy charges to supply a controlled Class C drug.

Former Esher RFC player Brandon Walker was given a ban of four years after testing positive for anabolic steroid Oxandrolone in an out-of-competition test on November 19 last year.

In another case, Connor Stapley, registered with English National League Division One outfit Henley RFC, received a ban of two years. It was ruled by the RFU Disciplinary Panel that Connor had not intentionally violated anti-doping rules after he tested positive for metabolites of the anabolic agents Methandienone and Mesterolone in an out-of-competition test on August 25, 2015.

UKAD chief executive Nicole Sapstead said it is important to recognize that all three cases are different, must be treated individually and cover a broad range of rule violations.

The suspensions took the total count of British rugby union players presently serving bans for failing drugs tests to 25.

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