Super League: Wigan Warriors academy prop Rhys Pugsley banned for doping breach
Last Updated: 07/08/14 12:24pm
Wigan Warriors academy forward Rhys Pugsley has been handed a two-year ban after testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug.
Pugsley, 19, made his Wales debut on his 18th birthday and has been a important member of Wigan's academy.
The club confirmed Pugsley had admitted taking anabolic steroids on one occasion and has accepted responsibility for his actions.
The positive test raises serious questions over how even youth players are being tempted to take performance-enhancing drugs.
Kris Radlinski, Wigan rugby general manager, said in a statement on the club's official website: "Rhys has been honest and contrite throughout the process and has extended apologies to Wigan coaching staff, players and sponsors for his actions in letting down both himself and the Wigan club.
"The club will support him, as allowed, through this difficult time and is in the process of constructing a rehabilitation programme to take effect after the recommended period of remorse, reflection and full awareness."
Pugsley, originally from Newport, tested positive for anabolic steroids (metabolites of methandienone) following an out-of-competition test on 22 April 2014 and was provisionally suspended from all competition on May 15. He is banned from all competition until May 14 2016.
UK Anti-Doping legal director Graham Arthur said: "Athletes should be under no illusion. From January 1, this type of offence will result in an automatic four-year ban. The 2015 World Anti-Doping Code deals severely with those who, like Rhys Pugsley, choose to intentionally dope."