February 20, 2010
Former Great Britain hooker Terry Newton was left facing the likelihood of a career-ending two-year ban after admitting taking the banned drug human growth hormone (HGH) on Friday.
The Wakefield forward was provisionally suspended earlier this week by the Rugby Football League after United Kingdom Anti-Doping (UKAD) confirmed he'd tested positive for a banned substance during pre-season training in November.
No details of the sample were given at the time but Newton confessed all in a statement issued through his lawyers on Friday, which means a B sample test and a hearing to determine his guilt are no longer required.
It is now expected UKAD will impose a two-year ban on Newton that will effectively end the 31-year-old's career.
HGH occurs naturally in the body but it can be injected in synthetic form in a bid to boost muscle growth and aid recovery from injury.
Although not proven to be performance-enhancing, use of HGH in sport was banned in 1989 by the International Olympic Committee's medical commission.
"I wish to formally apologise to my family, friends, colleagues and staff at Wakefield Trinity Wildcats, the club's supporters and the game of rugby league," Newton said in his statement.
"I have made a grave error of judgment in taking a banned substance and hope that, if nothing else, my stupidity will be a warning to any other professional in any sport of the consequences of doing so."
Newton, one of only five players to have appeared in all 15 Super League seasons, had played just two matches for Wakefield following a pre-season move from Yorkshire rivals Bradford.
He won 15 caps with Great Britain and a Challenge Cup winners' medal with Leeds in 1999 in the last final to be held at the old Wembley stadium.
Newton is the second high-profile rugby league player to fail a drugs test in the last nine months.
Wigan and England forward Gareth Hock is currently serving a two-year ban after testing positive for cocaine. © 2010 AFP