Fylde Rugby Football Club player Henry Hadfield has been banned from all sport for two years for an anti-doping violation.
The Cumbrian centre or winger, who was a regular in the Fylde first team over the past two seasons, was found to have the prohibited substance Higenamine in his system following an out-of-competition drug test on April 17 last year.
The 24-year-old's ban applies from that date until April 16 next year, though the Rugby Football Union stated that his breach of anti-doping rules was unintentional.
A statement issued by the RFU, the sport’s governing body, reads: “Mr Hadfield provided a urine sample which returned an Adverse Analytical Finding for the prohibited substance Higenamine.
“Higenamine is listed under category S3 of the WADA Prohibited List as a Beta-2 Agonist.
“It is a prohibited at all times, both in and out of competition, and is a Specified Substance.
“Mr Hadfield was charged with a breach of World Rugby regulation 21.2.1, ‘Presence of a Prohibited Substance or its Metabolites or Markers in a player’s Sample’.
“The RFU accepts that the Player’s Anti-Doping Rule Violation was not intentional and, therefore, the period of Ineligibility should be two years.
“RFU Anti-Doping and Illicit Drugs Programme Manager Stephen Watkins said: ‘All rugby players are subject to the anti-doping rules, which are in place to protect players and the integrity of our sport’.”
In a club statement, Fylde head coach Warren Spragg said: “As a club we respect the RFU’s anti-doping rules and the need to protect our players and the integrity of the sport.
“Henry has made a mistake and taken a pre-workout supplement which contained Higenamine, a banned stimulant. As a result he will unfortunately have to serve a significant ban.
“We want to make it clear that we fully support Henry and believe that whilst he was negligent, he was not intending to cheat. This view is backed up by the findings of the tribunal.
“He has played for the club for two seasons and been an integral part of the positive things we have done over that period.
“As a result of this case, we will review our education policy around supplements to ensure that our players are fully informed and that it doesn’t happen to one of our players again in the future.”
Hadfield joined Fylde as a 21-year-old in the summer of 2017, having previously played for the Penrith and Tynedale clubs.
He has also played for Sale Jets and represented Lancashire Under-20s, and was a member of North U20 and England Colleges squads.
Hadfield made 49 National League appearances in his first two seasons with Fylde, scoring nine tries, and was given a contract last summer for a third season.