(Reuters) - Yorkshire Carnegie’s South African flanker Brandon Staples has been banned from all sport for four years after testing positive for three steroids, England’s Rugby Football Union (RFU) said on Wednesday.
The 20-year-old Staples was tested on Aug. 9 last year and provisionally suspended on Sept. 7 after his sample returned an adverse analytical finding.
He is the first player to test positive for a performance enhancing substance in English professional rugby since 2011, the RFU said.
Staples said the adverse finding was the result of him consuming a nutritional drink while on holiday. An independent national anti-doping panel has suspended him until Sept. 6, 2021.
“Ultimately individuals are responsible for what they put into their bodies and this case highlights what can happen if a player is not vigilant,” Stephen Watkins, RFU Anti-Doping and Illicit Drugs Programme Manager, said in a statement.
Yorkshire Carnegie are sixth in the 12-team RFU Championship, the second-tier of English rugby.
Reporting by Simon Jennings; Editing by Ken Ferris