Athletics

Rhys Williams banned after failing drugs test

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Rhys Williams has been ruled out of the Commonwealth Games after failing a drugs test at the Glasgow Grand Prix on July 11, according to BBC Sport.

The Welsh hurdler is said to be inconsolable after the decision, and revealed that he was taken aback as he has no knowledge of having taken, or been subjected to, any banned substances. The report on the matter claims that the 30-year-old 400m hurdler tested positive in both his A and B samples, meaning that there was a clear indication he had something in his system which is against regulation.

Backlash

Despite carrying the status of Team Wales co-captain in the run up to the games in Scotland the athlete will no longer be able to take any part in the competition, though he will be allowed to respond to the charges brought against him if he so chooses.

The chief executive of Welsh Athletics, Matt Newman, provided an update on the situation, stating: "The B-sample was tested yesterday and that came back to match the A-sample results this morning.

"What will now happen is we shall have the opportunity to go in front of an anti-doping panel but that's not likely to happen until the autumn.

"In the interim period it's really now for Rhys to gather together as much information as possible to make a case for the defence."

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As if so often the case Williams has immediately leapt to his own defence, claiming that he had no knowledge whatsoever of any infringement he may have been guilty of. Back in 2012 the hurdler went on record to condemn drug cheats in sport, and insisted that he had never been an advocate of the use of performance enhancing supplements.

Yet now he finds himself well under the media spotlight, and his country’s chances of success have been dealt a further blow as a result. Injuries to other key athletes such as Non Stanford, Helen Jenkins and Becky James have seen Welsh hopes plummet with regards to racking up medals at the competition in Scotland, and Williams’ omission from proceedings has hardly helped matters.

The investigation

According to the same source Williams will now work extensively with ‘Mountain Fuel’ - who make a sport supplement that the athlete uses - in order to determine whether or not it was any of the ingredients included in their produce responsible. It’s thought the company will also be undertaking an internal investigation in case any banned substances had worked worked their way into the production line, with the results set to be announced by next Wednesday.

Williams response

As it to be expected Williams is gutted with the announcement, as he becomes the second Welsh athlete, after 800m runner Gareth Warburton, to be suspended for alleged doping. If and when he returns there’s no doubt he’ll be vying to restore his reputation, but the likes of Dwayne Chambers and Asafa Powell will tell you how hard it is to do that after being found guilty of attempting to cheat the system.

“I am utterly devastated about the news of this anti-doping rule violation, which has come as a great shock to me,” Williams said.

"From the outset, I would strongly like to state that I have not knowingly taken any banned substance.

"However, I recognise that the responsibility for this situation lies with me and I'm committed to working with UK Anti-Doping and will fully cooperate in the legal process."

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Topics:
Commonwealth Games
Athletics

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