British Masters champion Andrew Hastings has claimed in his deposition to UK Anti-Doping that a borrowed and used syringe was the reason behind his positive test.

The cyclist, who rode for Richardson’s-Trek, returned an adverse analytical finding for Metenolone and Stanozolol, the day before he won the British Masters (35-39) title. The testimony of Hastings revealed that he borrowed a used syringe from a stranger at a gym for injecting Vitamin B12 after feeling fatigued. In a decision document released by UKAD, it was disclosed that Hastings testified that he had returned from a training camp on February 15 feeling “very tired and run down” and on February 17, and this was after a training session at “Monster Gym” where he decided to administer a Vitamin B12 injection.

Hastings also said he purchased the vitamins from an online pharmacy. The document released by UKAD also disclosed the cyclist had an ampoule of B12 with him at the gym and purchased syringes, needles and Alcotip pre-injection swabs off auction website eBay but had “none left” on February 17. The document revealed that the British Masters champion reportedly told gym owner, friend Steve Collins, and other members that he wanted to administer a Vitamin B12 injection but had no syringe and one of the people present checked his bag and found a used syringe. Hastings visually examined the syringe and concluded it had not been used intravenously.

The cyclist asked that the anti-doping tribunal to accept that whilst he accepts that he was at fault in using the contaminated syringe, there was no intent on his part to take performance enhancing substances. It was however pointed out by expert witnesses of UK Anti-Doping that the presence of anabolic steroids in his positive sample, which was taken on May 30, suggested Hastings would have had to have administered the drug more recently than the February date that was claimed by Hastings.

UKAD’s director of operations, Pat Myhill, said the message from UKAD is clear – the use of any prohibited substances in sport will not be tolerated. Myhill added the Hastings case is the perfect example of how an individual makes choices which not only cheat himself but cheat his team mates and his opposition and added that choice has resulted in a four-year ban from all sport. The UKAD’s director of operations also remarked Hastings’ actions put him at risk of seriously damaging his health. Myhill added steroids and steroid use continue to be a concern for UKAD and we are seeing an increase in the number of men turning to them for performance enhancing effects but also for cosmetic reasons. He further added that often these steroids are bought with no consideration for where the products come from or how they are made and Myhill also commented that UK Anti-Doping relies on information from a wide range of sources, not only to catch those who choose consciously to go against the spirit of sport, but to also unearth the root cause of the problem – those who supply these substances.

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