UKAD have announced three more British rugby union players have been banned for doping ©UKAD

Andrew Quarry, handed a suspended 12-month prison sentence for dealing anabolic steroids in 2013, is among three English rugby union players to have been given lengthy bans from the sport announced by UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) today.

Quarry, registered with North 1 West outfit Kendal RUFC, was hit with a 12-year suspension by the Rugby Football Union (RFU).

It followed his guilty plea to charges of conspiracy to supply a controlled Class C drug at Carlisle Crown Court in July 2013.

He will now not to be able to return to the sport until 2025.

Former Esher RFC player Brandon Walker has been banned for four years after he recorded a positive result for anabolic steroid oxandrolone in an out-of-competition test on November 19 last year.

Walker admitted to using the substance and was subsequently sanctioned by the RFU, the governing body for the sport in the nation.

He has been suspended from all sport for four years from December 9 last year to December 8, 2019.

In a third case, providing further evidence of a doping problem within rugby union in Britain, Connor Stapley, registered with English National League Division One outfit Henley RFC, has received a two-year ban.

The RFU Disciplinary Panel ruled that the player had not intentionally violated anti-doping rules after he tested positive for metabolites of the anabolic agents methandienone and mesterolone in an out of competition test on August 25, 2015.

Image title
Top international sides have worn "Keep Rugby Clean" tee-shirts in an effort to keep drugs out of the sport but there are now 24 players currently serving doping bans in the UK ©Getty Images

The three suspensions confirmed by UKAD bring the total number of British rugby union players currently serving bans for failing drugs tests to 25.

“It is important to recognise that all three cases are different, must be treated individually and cover a broad range of rule violations,” UKAD chief executive Nicole Sapstead said.

“The Quarry case is a good result for UKAD and the RFU.

“Removing a dealer of anabolic steroids from the game - someone who made a conscious choice to cheat the system and the law - is a positive result for the sport.

“The case also shows just how important our relationship with law enforcement has become.

“By working with local police forces and the National Crime Agency, we have been able to remove a dealer from the system – someone who has absolutely no place in sport.”

Sapstead admitted that cases involving players such as Walker’s represented a “worrying trend” in the sport and claimed “testing alone will not solve the problem”.

“We must continue to take a preventative approach by educating players and athletes, at all levels, on the dangers of steroid use, as well as continue to work closely with law enforcement partners to target those who supply these substances,” she added.