Wasps' Ashley Johnson suspended for six months after anti-doping violation

Ashley Johnson will be available to play at the start of the Premiership next season despite the ban
Ashley Johnson will be available to play at the start of the Premiership next season despite the ban

The Rugby Football Union (RFU) has confirmed that Wasps forward Ashley Johnson has been banned for six months for an anti-doping rule violation.

Despite, the ban the 32-year-old will be available for the start of the Gallagher Premiership season as his ban was backdated to February despite him playing for the club four times since then.

Johnson underwent the test on 7th February with his urine sample returning Adverse Analytical Finding (AAF). However, the South African convinced the panel that he mistakenly consuming his wife’s dietary supplement – a fat burner called “The Secret” - which she purchased from South Africa and as a result was tested positive for hydrochlorothiazide.

“I was horrified when I got the test results and once we tracked back and worked out I had inadvertently taken the wrong tablet," said Johnson.

“I completely accept that I am responsible for everything in my body. Drug use is not something I would ever condone, and from now on I will be extra vigilant at all times.

“I would like to thank my family and friends, everyone at Wasps, the RPA and our fans for their support through this difficult period and apologise unreservedly for what has happened.

“I am now working hard in pre-season and am looking forward to putting this behind me and getting back to being part of the Wasps squad.”

Johnson will now be free to resume playing from 7th August.

A statement from Wasps also further confirmed the news on Johnson.

"At a hearing conducted by the independent national anti-doping panel, [Johnson] advised he mistakenly took his wife's fat burner 'the Secret' rather than his own legitimate supplement 'Nutrilean'.

"Under World Rugby regulations, Johnson is permitted to fully resume training with his club with immediate effect."

RFU anti-doping and illicit drugs programme manager stated that Johnson was careless in his approach.

"[Johnson] was careless in his failure to acknowledge his responsibilities as a rugby player and ensure he was dutiful in checking what he consumed.

"The risk of contamination in supplements is significant to all players and therefore we advise that there is no guarantee that a supplement is free from prohibited substances."

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