The Romanian international sevens and Hull rugby union player Stephen Hihetah has been banned for four years for a positive test for three banned steroids.
Mr Hihetah, a professional rugby player, argued that the urine sample that returned an Adverse Analytical Finding (AAF) was due to a pre-workout shake he consumed while training with a friend at Christmas 2018. The National Anti-Doping Panel found, after hearing evidence, that Mr Hihetah had not “come close to satisfying the burden that fell upon him” (para 51), and on his own account “had taken no steps whatsoever to satisfy himself as to the nature and content of the pre-workout shake offered to him” (para 54) on the 18th of December. The player was accordingly banned for four years, running from the date of his provisional suspension. He will be eligible to play again in June 2023.
James Segan appeared on behalf of the RFU.
The judgment is available here.