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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 January, 2004, 09:58 GMT
Rugby drug charges - three cleared
Penygraig rugby field
Three Penygraig players have been cleared of drug charges
Three players from a south Wales rugby club have been found not guilty on drugs charges which had affected most of the first team.

Penygraig RFC players Shane McIntosh, Nick Jones and Jason Ronan were found not guilty of the drugs charges by a Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) panel on Tuesday.

The WRU last year banned 18 players at the amateur club for failing to take a drugs test after the Silver Ball final on 14 May.

A total of 22 players were originally charged with the offence, with the hearings for the three found not guilty adjourned until Wednesday's hearing.

As the governing body of the game in Wales, the WRU is determined to enforce its own anti-doping regulations
WRU chief executive David Moffett

The former club chairman Neil Roper was cleared of all involvement after the WRU disciplinary hearing in July 2003.

Fourteen other players had an application for a fresh hearing refused by the committee and club secretary Peter Bowen is appealing against the length of his three-year ban from the game.

A fourth player, Gareth Davies, was given permission to have his case reopened and heard again - but the independent disciplinary committee found him guilty of the offence.

WRU chief executive David Moffett said: "We are obviously waiting to hear from the panel the reasons for their decisions.

"However, the WRU can confirm that 19 of the 22 Penygraig match-day squad have either admitted or been found guilty of a doping offence - namely refusing to provide a drug test.

"As the governing body of the game in Wales, the WRU is determined to enforce its own anti-doping regulations - which are consistent with those of the IRB and IOC - and will continue to co-operate with UK Sport in that respect."

The 19 players will now serve an 18-month ban from rugby.


SEE ALSO:
'Ban' club fields replacements
08 Sep 03  |  South East Wales
Club's fears over 19-player ban
29 Jul 03  |  Wales
Penygraig drug test - charges
09 Jul 03  |  Wales
Rugby club's anti-drug message
21 May 03  |  Wales


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