Commonwealth Games: Supplements to be tested

The company behind a supplement used by Welsh athletes Rhys Williams and Gareth Warburton has launched an investigation to determine whether the product may have had a part in their failed drugs tests.

Rhys Williams who was charged with an anti-doping violation. Picture: Getty
Rhys Williams who was charged with an anti-doping violation. Picture: Getty
Rhys Williams who was charged with an anti-doping violation. Picture: Getty

European 400 metres hurdles champion Williams, the co-captain of Wales’ Commonwealth Games athletics squad, has been provisionally suspended and will miss Glasgow 2014 as a result.

The 30-year-old son of rugby union great JJ Williams became the second Welsh athlete to be forced out of the Games over an alleged doping offence, after 800m runner Warburton was withdrawn nine days previously.

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Williams said he was “utterly devastated” by the news of his failed test and insisted, like 
Warburton, that he had never knowingly doped.

Both athletes have used Mountain Fuel supplements, which its owners say is “nutritionally balanced to ensure your body is fuelled for maximum performance”. On its website, Mountain Fuel says no products on banned lists are contained in its supplements, which cost £1.75 per sachet.

Owner Darren Foote, from Brynmawr in south Wales, expressed alarm at news of Williams’ positive test, but remains confident his product could not have been a factor.

“I’m as shocked as he is, and I know him well,” Foote said. “We’re complying to help him and we’ve just sent everything off to be tested and looked at in case it could be ours.

“I’m disappointed that people have named us as the investigation hasn’t been finished yet.

He added: “I’m sure the results will come back clean. I can barely afford the cost of making these products, let alone buying steroids to put in them.

“I expect to hear the results by Wednesday or Thursday of next week and I’ll be coming up to Glasgow to tell everyone about it.”

Welsh Athletics earlier said it was “concerned” to see a second member of its team charged with committing an anti-doping rule violation.

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The body said in a statement: “Rhys has the opportunity to respond to the charges against him and to have those charges determined at a full hearing before the national anti-doping panel.

“Welsh Athletics strongly supports clean sport and has established a comprehensive education programme for its athletes.

“Welsh Athletics is obviously concerned that this is the second anti-doping violation by a senior Welsh international athlete and will be conducting its own internal review.”

Foote stressed Welsh Athletics had not spoken to him regarding the positive tests, and said only “around 3,000 sachets” had ever been produced.