Former Hull FC boss, player and coach get doping-breach bans

James Rule
James Rule
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FORMER Hull FC chief executive James Rule, former player Martin Gleeson and a former coach at the club have been banned from rugby league for a total of seven years following anti-doping violations.

UK Anti-Doping said Rule and Cooper were charged with conspiring with Gleeson to cover up the circumstances which led to the player testing positive for a banned stimulant, methylhexaneamine, after a Super League game against Salford on May 13.

UKAD claim Gleeson later admitted lying about the matter and banned him for three years, half of which will be suspended.

The ban has also been backdated to June but will not expire until November, meaning the career of the former Warrington, St Helens and Huddersfield star could be over.

Cooper, a former conditioning coach, agreed to a two-year ban, with half also suspended, while Rule did not contest the charge made against him by UK Anti-Doping and has been banned for two years by the National Anti-Doping Panel.

All three men have since left the club following the takeover by former Hull City chairman Adam Pearson in July.

UK Anti-Doping chief executive Andy Parkinson said: “Once again, this highlights to the sporting community that UK Anti-Doping will aggressively pursue all types of anti-doping rule violation. While all eyes are on the London Games next year, we continue to work on behalf of clean athletes in every sport.

“I would like to thank the RFL for their support and assistance throughout this process which has reinforced rugby league’s ongoing commitment to tackling the issue of doping in sport.”

RFL Chief Executive Nigel Wood added: “Such behaviour is unacceptable and this case has brought the sport of rugby league into disrepute.

“We must applaud UK Anti-Doping for the hours of work they have put in to conduct a detailed and extensive investigation.”

Nobody at the club was available for comment.