Conner Duthie: Former Hibs youngster banned from sport for two years over drug offences

Player tested positive for cannabis in March 2019

Conner Duthie, formerly of Stenhousemuir, has been banned from all sport for two years afte testing positive for cannabis

Former Hibs youngster Conner Duthie has been hit with a two-year ban from all sport after testing positive for cannabis.

The 22-year-old, who last played for Stenhousemuir, provided an in-competition urine sample on March 16 2019 after the Ochilview club had played Stranraer in an SPFL Scottish League One match.

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Analysis of Duthie's sample revealed an "Adverse Analytical Finding (AAF) for carboxy-THC, a metabolite of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive compound found in cannabis", according to a statement from UK Anti-Doping (UKAD).

The Edinburgh-born midfielder was subsequently charged with violating Scottish Football Association Anti-Doping Regulation Article 2.1: "Presence of a Prohibited Substance or its Metabolites or Markers in a Player's Sample" and is banned from participating in any sport until 15 March 2021.

An independent expert witness in the case believes that the drug was ingested outwith competition, which carries an applicable ban from all sport of two years.

While athletes are not banned from taking the drug out-of-competition, if the substance is found in a player's system during an in-competition test, then a ban is enforced.

Pat Myhill, UK Anti-Doping Director of Operations said: “Cannabis is prohibited in sport due to the various psychological and physiological effects it can have on athletes.

“Whilst its use Out-of-Competition is not prohibited in sport, it is prohibited if found in a sample given In-Competition. As the substance can remain in an athlete’s system for a long time, this case shows that there is a very real risk of a ban from sport if you choose to use this substance, even outside of competing.

“Athletes are solely responsible for what is in their system, regardless of how they claim it got there and whether there was an intention to cheat or not. Our message to athletes is clear, it is not worth the risk."

Duthie began his career with Hearts at Under-17 level before joining Capital rivals Hibs in July 2014. He featured for the club's youth sides and spent time on loan at Spartans before being released by the Easter Road side in January 2016. He made one competitive appearance for Hibs in the Championship, as a second-half substitute in a 3-0 win over Dumbarton in February 2015.

Since departing the club he has also turned out for Dunfermline Athletic and Forfar Athletic.