Rugby player banned for four years for anti-doping rule violation

Haywards Heath RFC player Max Drage has been banned from all sport for four years from 10 January 2020 until 9 January 2024.

Max Drage in action for Haywards Heath v Old Colfeians in February 2019. Photo by warwickpics.com
Max Drage in action for Haywards Heath v Old Colfeians in February 2019. Photo by warwickpics.com

Mr Drage provided a urine sample In-Competition at Haywards Heath RFC’s ground on 16 November 2019. The sample returned an Adverse Analytical Finding for S4 Hormone and Metabolic Modulators and S1 Anabolic Androgenic Steroids. These are Prohibited Substances as defined by the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List 2019.

Mr Drage 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.”

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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.”

Haywards Heath RFC responded to these recent events saying: “The Club is totally opposed to the taking of any performance enhancing substance at any time by anyone, whether connected to the Club or otherwise.

"We are very disappointed that this situation has occurred and are keen to make sure it does not overshadow all the good work done by our Club, its members and its players. We will endeavour to reinforce our, and sport of rugby’s, values across the Club by way of education for players of all ages.”