January 9, 2019 / 3:16 PM / 7 days ago

Minns banned for 16 months over cocaine use

FILE PHOTO: Rugby League - Super League - Hull Kingston Rovers vs Hull FC - KCOM Craven Park, Hull, Britain - March 30, 2018 Hull Kingston Rovers' Thomas Minns celebrates scoring their fourth try Action Images/Ed Sykes

(Reuters) - Former Hull KR rugby league player Thomas Minns has been banned for 16 months after testing positive for cocaine, UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) said on Wednesday.

Centre Minns was placed on extended leave by Hull after testing positive for benzoylecgonine following their Super League win at Huddersfield Giants last year.

The 24-year-old admitted in April to taking the drug, which he said happened as he was struggling with his mother’s death.

“It is an athlete’s responsibility to know what substances are in their system,” UKAD’s chief executive Nicole Sapstead said in a statement.

“They must be aware that even if a substance is not banned out-of-competition, there is always the possibility of it remaining in their body for a period of time and it being detected in-competition.”

Minns, who was released from his Hull contract in July last year, will be free to return on July 14.

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Alexander Smith

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