Clevedon rugby player banned for four years after failing drug test

PUBLISHED: 15:43 13 August 2018 | UPDATED: 16:05 13 August 2018

Dean Ashfield (left) in action in 2012.

Dean Ashfield (left) in action in 2012.

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A Clevedon rugby player has been banned for four years after admitting taking steroids.

Dean Ashfield will not be allowed to play the sport again until April 9, 2021 after failing a drugs test in April 2017.

He said at the time of the test he was working as a self-employed builder and had needed reconstructive knee ligament surgery and suffered ‘constant back pain’.

Ashfield said he went to see a sports therapist to reduce the pain who gave him an injection to help. He told the Rugby Football Union (RFU) that must have been how the banned steroids entered his body.

But the RFU ruled it was ’gravely sceptical’ of the claim because Ashfield did not name the therapist, could not say when the treatment was administered, it had not been reported to his doctor and he had not made any enquiries as to what the injection was.

Ashfield tested positive to drostanolone, trenbolone and clenbuterol steroids following a match in March 2017. He was suspended awaiting the outcome of the hearing and his ban will be backdated accordingly.

The National Anti-Doping Panel agreed a four-year ban was appropriate.

RFU Anti-Doping and Illicit Drugs programme manager Stephen Watkins said: “This case demonstrates that there are serious consequences to doping.

“Beyond the performance-enhancing effects of steroids, there are significant health risks associated with their use, including kidney failure, liver damage and an increased risk of strokes and heart attacks.”

Clevedon Rugby Club has declined to comment.

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