Ex-Jed player banned after contravening anti-doping rule

Sean Goodfellow (library image).
Sean Goodfellow (library image).

Borders rugby player Sean Goodfellow has been suspended from all sport for a period of four years following a violation of anti-doping rules.

The former Jed-Forest, Hawick and South scrum-half was charged with World Rugby’s Anti-Doping regulations, accused of “evading, refusing or failing to submit to sample collection” on August 2 last year, and has been banned until January 2023.

He last appeared on a rugby pitch for Jed-Forest at Lasswade in the Premiership play-off match against Glasgow Hawks at the end of the 2017-18 season.

The UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) ruling on Goodfellow stated a doping control officer from UKAD called at the respondent’s home around 6.30am for the purpose of carrying out sample collection – taking a sample of the respondent’s urine in controlled conditions, so that it be later analysed in laboratory conditions to identify the presence of any prohibited substance(s).

“The respondent was present but declined to take part in sample collection, on the stated bases that he was not registered with the SRU to play rugby in season 2019-20 and that he had to get to his work and had insufficient time to take part in sample collection,” said the ruling.

“Later checking with the SRU identified that, in fact, the respondent was registered at the SRU as a player with his club in Scotland, that there was no break in his registration status and that his registration rendered him subject to the ADR, as described.

“This included being bound to submit, including on August 2, 2018, among other requirements, to out of competition sample collection as and when required to do so by UKAD.”

UKAD’s chief executive, Nicole Sapstead, said in the ruling: “It is the responsibility of all athletes to comply with sample collection regulations.

“Failure to do so may result in the same sanction as a missed test. The period of ineligibility shall apply from the date of sample collection ( January 2 this year) until midnight on January 1, 2023.”

The full judgement can be read on the UKAD website.

Goodfellow, from Hawick, is the second Jed-Forest player this year to have received a drugs ban. In March, back-row forward Blake Roff was banned for two years after being found guilty of possession of clenbuterol.

Roff was traced by anti-doping authorities to have bought the sympathomimetic amine online in December 2014, while still living and playing in his native New Zealand.

The SRU’s chief medical officer, Dr James Robson, said: “At Scottish Rugby, we take a very strong line on anti-doping. Our position is that of UK Anti-Doping and WADA – 100 per cent Me – it’s the athlete’s responsibility to ensure clean, fair sport at all times.

“We have a robust process in place for those who try to by-pass the anti-doping rules.”

In a statement, an SRU spokesman added: “Scottish Rugby is committed to the fight against doping to protect the integrity of the game.

“As a governing body, we have an extensive education programme for players, at all levels, on the consequences of taking banned substances, from both a health and sporting perspective, and adhering to the rules of testing.

“We welcome Sean Goodfellow’s ban, as it serves as a timely reminder to all players that they have a responsibility to adhere to the anti-doping code.”

A spokesman for Jed-Forest RFC said Goodfellow had still been registered with the Riverside club but, as far as it was concernced, was not a member of or player for the club at the time of the violation.

In July 2010, aged 19, Goodfellow was jailed for four-and-a-half years after admitting causing death by dangerous driving in an April 2009 crash, between Kelso and Jedburgh, in which Scotland star Stuart Hogg was a passenger in his car and which resulted in the death of his teenage friend Richard Wilkinson. Another 19-year-old in another car was also jailed after the pair admitted to racing at 90mph.