Scots rugby player banned for two years over ecstasy use

An amateur rugby player in Scotland has been banned from all sport for a period of two years after a drugs test showed he had taken ecstasy before a match.

Tyrell Wilson in action for Newton Stewart prior to his ban. Picture: Peter Forster/Johnston Press
Tyrell Wilson in action for Newton Stewart prior to his ban. Picture: Peter Forster/Johnston Press

The UK Anti-Doping Agency (UKAD) handed the suspension to Tyrell Wilson, who played for Tennent’s National League Division 3 side Newton Stewart at the time of the failed test.

The player tested positive for banned substance methylenedioxymethamphetamine, or MDMA, following a match against Haddington on January 13 2018.

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Wilson was subsequently charged with committing an anti-doping violation rule (ADRV), and has been suspended since.

A case between UKAD and the player was brought before the National Anti-Doping Tribunal, the verdict of which was published earlier this week.

The tribunal’s findings stated that Wilson, a full-back, had admitted taking the drug twice in the week before the match in question, and had stated that it was for “recreational purposes only”.

He also admitted to having problems at home which had led to him taking MDMA. and said he was unaware that it was a banned substance.

UKAD claimed that Wilson should not have been able to argue that the substance was taken outwith competition - even though he is not a paid player - and that he should have been subject to a four-year ban because the anti-doping rule violation was “intentional”.

However, the tribunal said they weren’t “comfortably satisfied” by UKAD’s argument - that Wilson had used the drug to cheat - and instead believed it more likely that he had taken the drug for “recreational purposes”.

Wilson was given a two-year ban to run from the date the sample was taken. As such, he will be free to return to sport on January 12 2020.

A statement from Newton Stewart said: “We fully accept and support the decision of UKAD to implement a two year ban.

“We operate a zero tolerance policy to drug taking at Newton Stewart RFC, whether performance enhancing or recreational.

“Following these developments earlier this year the club has begun putting steps in place to improve player education on the dangers of drug use, both to their health and their sporting careers.

“We pride ourselves on being a welcoming, family-friendly club and as such it is our aim to increase awareness of this issue at all levels of our club, from the juniors through to the senior team.”