Former Wigan Warriors academy player Rhys Pugsley has been banned for EIGHT years after testing positive for a banned performance-enhancing drug for the second time in two years.
The 21-year-old was coming towards the end of his first ban when he was tested again by UK Anti-Doping, producing a positive result for the anabolic steroid nandrolone.
A disciplinary panel has now banned him from rugby league and all other sanctioned sport for eight years.
Pugsley was banned for two years in 2014 while at Wigan Warriors.
He was offered a contract by Whitehaven once his ban expired this year, but after being found guilty again, he is now banned from all sport until midnight on March 2, 2024.
UKAD’s chief executive Nicole Sapstead, said: “Rhys has singlehandedly destroyed that promising career as a result of this second violation.
“All athletes serving a sanction remain subject to testing throughout the course of their suspension, to mitigate the risk of them returning to sport and continuing to dope.
“Rhys’ conscious choice to continue to take performance-enhancing substances, whilst he was already serving a ban, has rightly been met with a further tough sanction.
“We take this type of violation with the utmost seriousness and our message is clear – there is no place in sport for those who consciously dope.
“UKAD continues to be concerned about the number of young men who are turning to steroid use for performance or cosmetic enhancement.
“This trend continues to be a serious issue and we are calling on our partners in the sport, health and education sectors to support us in trying to tackle the issue.
“UKAD works closely with the Rugby Football League to ensure that anti-doping education, resources and support, are available to players, so that they can make the right choices throughout their careers to compete and win clean.”