Rugby: Sam Chalmers in two year ban for doping

Sam Chalmers has been banned for two years. Picture: Comp
Sam Chalmers has been banned for two years. Picture: Comp
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Scottish rugby player Sam Chalmers says he is “mortified and embarrassed” after being banned from the sport for two years after admitting taking a banned substance.

Chalmers, 19, son of former Melrose coach Craig Chalmers, who won 60 caps for Scotland, was tested out-of-competition by the International Rugby Board at a Scotland Under-20 training session in Edinburgh on Monday, May 13.

Analysis found that he had taken methandienone and stanozolol, which are both listed as anabolic androgenic steroids in the 2013 list of prohibited substances issued by WADA – the World Anti-Doping Authority. He had taken the substances in a product, Pro-SD, which he had ordered over the internet.

Chalmers, a utility back for Melrose, said he considered his actions “stupid, naive (and) desperate”.

“I totally regret my actions,” he said. “I am mortified and embarrassed with the whole situation and feel I have not only let myself down but my club and family as well.”

Chalmers’ case was determined by an IRB Board Judicial Committee which said in its written judgment: “During the hearing the player offered to participate in any anti-doping education programme. That was to his credit. However, his experience is a salutary warning to any person tempted to take what is sometimes described as a ‘short cut’. The only thing cut short is this young man’s rugby career.”

The committee also said: “On his (Sam Chalmers’) own account he took Pro-SD thinking it was a ‘testosterone pill’ in the hope it would help him gain weight.

“He carried out no research or advice and accepted the risks in doing so. He was entirely at fault and, as he candidly accepted, he accepts the consequences.”

Scottish Rugby’s head of regulation, Graham Ireland, said: “Scottish Rugby takes a very clear stance on anti-doping and we have a zero-tolerance policy on doping offences in Scotland.

“We are committed to keeping the game in Scotland clean through a programme of robust drugs-testing coupled with education on the dangers of illegal substances.

“Scottish Rugby, working in partnership with anti-doping agencies and other governing bodies, undertakes a programme of drugs-testing after-matches, after training, out of competition and at home.

“Testing can occur at any level of the game, anywhere and at any time.

“Since the 2009-2010 season there have been around 800 drugs tests in Scottish Rugby, at all levels of the game, and, in that period, there have now been two adverse findings – an amateur club player in 2010 who was found to have taken a slimming product that contained an illegal substance and, this latest case, involving a club player who took a product because he naively thought it could help him to put on weight.

“We are continuing to work diligently to ensure the importance of a drugs-free game is understood by all involved in the sport in Scotland.”