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MacLeod doping charge is dropped

Scott MacLeod
Scott MacLeod is free to resume playing for The Scarlets

A doping charge against Scott MacLeod has been dropped after investigators accepted that his high levels of testosterone were triggered by alcohol.

The Scotland and Scarlets lock was suspended in October but is now free to resume playing with immediate effect.

"I am glad that this ordeal is finally over," said the 29-year-old.

"I never thought that an impromptu night out to celebrate the news that I was going to become a dad for the first time would lead to all this."

MacLeod was banned after a urine sample he provided contained a higher than permitted level of testosterone.

This was to allow for a thorough investigation by UK Sport and an independent review panel.

"I feel very frustrated that my sample was not tested for alcohol at an earlier stage of these proceedings - given the severity of the charge that I was facing, I would have expected that the alcohol test should have been performed as a matter of routine," added MacLeod.

"Had that been the case, I would have been able to establish my innocence at a much earlier stage, I would not have been suspended and the details of this case would not have become public."

MacLeod's claims were considered by UK Sport and consequentially by an independent review panel.

This was all prior to analysis of a B Sample by UK Sport's laboratory. It was analysis of the B Sample, which first confirmed the existence of alcohol in the player's system.

Gregor Nicholson, Scottish Rugby's international administration manager, said: "It has been a long and frustrating case for Scott MacLeod, some aspects of which demonstrate an urgent need for a review of T/E (the ratio of testosterone to epitestosterone) protocols and whether A samples should be routinely analysed for the existence of alcohol, ultimately by WADA but also by UK Sport.

"Scottish Rugby is also making representations to the International Rugby Board in relation to how the IRB's anti-doping regulations (and therefore our own anti-doping regulations) deal with the complicated and uncertain nature of such cases.

"Until then, all players who are subject to doping control, including out-of-competition unannounced testing, should take heed of the very real danger of acute alcohol ingestion causing a temporary elevation of their T/E level, to the extent that they could face having to formally explain, to a legal standard, the reason for the finding in order to avoid a doping charge."

Last February MacLeod was cleared of failing a previous doping test after he had taken an asthma medicine without permission.

MacLeod, capped 21 times, was an ever-present for Scotland during last season's Six Nations championship but missed the recent autumn Test series.

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see also
MacLeod facing drugs test probe
20 Oct 08 |  Rugby Union
MacLeod cleared of positive test
25 Feb 08 |  Scottish
Magners Celtic League
11 Apr 07 |  Rugby Union
Heineken Cup
11 Apr 07 |  Rugby Union


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