Wigan Rugby League Club yesterday received formal confirmation from UK Sport and the RFL that player Gareth Hock has tested positive for a prohibited substance. The presence of Benzoylecgonine (a metabolite of cocaine) was discovered in the A:Sample Test taken at the Wigan game against Salford City Reds on 5th June 2009.
Pursuant to Article 7.2.3. of the Anti-Doping rules of the RFL, Gareth has been charged with an Anti-Doping Rule Violation and his Registration has been Provisionally Suspended by the RFL awaiting the B:Sample Test on June 30th. Whilst subject to a Provisional Suspension, a player may not participate in any capacity in any competition, event or other activity organised, convened, authorised or recognised by the RFL or by any other body that is a member of, or affiliated to, or licensed by the RFL.
The Club was informed of the situation on Monday 22nd June and joins with the RFL and UK Sport in deploring and condemning the use of drugs in sport including so-called recreational drugs.
Under the RFL Rules, if it is established that the player has committed an Anti-Doping Rule Violation, a period of ineligibility of two years shall be imposed. In exceptional circumstances where an athlete can show he bears no fault or negligence for the Anti-Doping Rule Violation, where an athlete can show he bears no significant fault or negligence for the Anti-Doping Rule Violation or where an athlete provides substantial assistance to the RFL or UK Sport which results in the discovery of an Anti-Doping Rule Violation by another person, the period can be reduced.
Neither the Club nor player will be making any further comment on this matter until the investigation by UK Sport is completed.