A Bargoed RFC player has been suspended from all sport by UK Anti-Doping for two years after testing positive for cocaine.
Daniel Matthews, 30, tested positive for the presence of benzoylecgonine, a metabolite of cocaine, following an in-competition test on March 24 this year, after a match against Cross Keys RFC.
Matthews was an unused replacement for the Principality Premiership clash at Pandy Park in Crosskeys. The player claimed he ingested the drug inadvertently by biting his nails, after having come into contact with a cocaine user through his job as a doorman on the evening of March 22 and in the early hours of March 23.
Admitting the violation, the 30-year-old told anti-doping officers his use of cocaine was out of competition – the presence of cocaine is prohibited in-competition only.
He was charged with an anti doping rule violation pursuant to Article 2.1 of the Anti-Doping Rules – “Presence of a Prohibited Substance or its Metabolites or Markers in an Athlete’s Sample”.
UKAD’s Director of Operations, Pat Myhill, said: “Regardless of whether an athlete is deliberately seeking to gain an unfair sporting advantage or not, all athletes must take sole responsibility for what enters their system.
“It is important all athletes understand the concept of strict liability and, even if a substance is only banned in-competition, they must be aware that ingesting such substances out-of-competition could still lead to a ban as it may remain in their system.”