British rowers handed two-year bans for taking banned substances

Two British rowers have been handed two-year bans from all sports for doping violations.

Sybren Hoogland and Timothy Grant were found guilty of taking banned substances after being tested following their participation at the Ghent International Regatta in Belgium on 9 May for Oxford Brookes University Boat Club.

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Hoogland, 21, tested positive for benzoylecgonine, a metabolite of cocaine, while Grant, 22, tested positive for modafinil, a banned stimulant designed to keep people more alert.

“British Rowing takes a very clear stance on anti-doping and we are incredibly disappointed with both cases,” said Andy Parkinson, the chief executive of British Rowing and the former head of UK Anti-Doping. “We strongly believe in the fight against doping at all levels of our sport and we are committed to keeping our sport clean through on-going and extensive education programmes related to doping.

“Both these athletes and Oxford Brookes University Boat Club had received formal anti-doping education in 2015 so this makes these two cases all the more disappointing. While we accept that both rowers did not take performance enhancing substances, this is a wake-up call for all aspiring rowers in the UK.

“British Rowing will continue to work closely with UK Anti-Doping and we shall be reviewing our systems to ensure we are providing the best support possible to our rowers and our sport.”

Commenting on the bans, Nicole Sapstead, chief executive of Ukad, said: “Hoogland and Grant are young athletes who clearly made the wrong choices in their personal lives. The consequences of those choices is that they have damaged their sporting careers and their reputations.

“Both athletes have been through extensive anti-doping education but their decisions to ignore the advice they were given has resulted in two year bans from all sport.”

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