Rugby league player Morgan Jefferies has been given a four-year ban by UK Anti-Doping ©UKAD

Rugby league player Morgan Jefferies has been given a four-year ban by UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) after failing a drugs test.

The West Wales Raiders back row tested positive for drostanolone, a banned steroid, and benzoylecgonine, a metabolite of cocaine.

It followed a test after a game between the Raiders and London Skolars on February 23.

He then failed for drostanolone again after an out-of-competition test on March 7.

The 23-year-old told UKAD that he did not take drostanolone "knowingly" and that contaminated supplements could be to blame.

He said that he took cocaine spontaneously as an "act of stupidity" when with friends.

"It is always concerning when an athlete is found to have a prohibited substance in their system, but when more than one substance is found, or substances are found on multiple occasions, it is of particular alarm," said UKAD chief executive Nicole Sapstead.

"All athletes, at all levels of sport, must be aware of the principle of strict liability. 

"If they are in any doubt, especially around things like supplements and medications, it is always advised to check the products on websites such as Informed Sport and Global DRO, or to seek professional, medical advice."

Jefferies' ban has been backdated and will expire on February 22, 2023.

His club side, based in Llanelli, finished bottom of League One this year, the third-tier of rugby league in Britain.

"Morgan has been with us since the beginning of the club back in 2014 so it was a shock to us to find out that he had been found guilty of using prohibited drugs whilst under contract with the Raiders," said Peter Tiffin, chief executive of the Raiders.

"We make sure that we have all the appropriate staff at the Raiders to discuss any topic that a player is concerned about, with Sian our head psychologist available at each session.

"We are still in contact with Morgan and his family to make sure he has the appropriate support through this tough time for him, whilst still being disappointed as a club of his actions. 

"We are as always in full contact with the Rugby Football League and fully support the decision as Morgan and any other player who is found guilty of using drugs whilst under contract should be reprimanded for their decisions."

Doping cases in rugby, particularly at a lower level, have become an increasing problem for UKAD with numerous sanctions issued.