Commonwealth Games 2014: Welsh 800m runner Gareth Warburton denies 'knowingly taken any banned substance' after he's suspended for anti-doping offence

Warburton narrowly missed out on a medal in 2010 but looks set to miss this year's Games after being informed of his suspension

London 2012 Olympian Gareth Warburton has been provisionally suspended from all competition after becoming the first British athlete in an international team to fail a drugs test for three years.

The 800 metres runner was due to represent Wales at the Commonwealth Games but was removed from the team for Glasgow with immediate effect after testing positive for an unspecified substance.

The 32-year-old described the news as “a great shock” and pledged to fight to clear his name in the coming months, although no date has been set for any possible appeal.

Sprinter Bernice Wilson was the last British international athlete to fail a doping test when traces of testosterone and clenbuterol were found in her system in June 2011, which resulted in a four-year ban.

Since then shot putter Carl Fletcher has been banned for trafficking performance-enhancing drugs while javelin thrower Ian Burns was also handed a suspension for possessing numerous substances, although neither athlete produced a positive sample.

Warburton had joked on Twitter a month ago: “2 drugs in 2 weeks. This beard must make me look suspicious,” and on Wednesday admitted he was at a loss to explain the doping violation.

In a statement, he said: “The news of the anti-doping rule violation has come as a great shock to me. From the outset, I would like to state that I have not knowingly taken any banned substance. As a professional athlete, I have always supported and have been an advocate of clean sport. Nothing has changed in this regard. However, I recognise that the responsibility for this situation lies with me and I’m committed to working with UK Anti-Doping and will fully cooperate with the legal process.”

Glasgow would have been Warburton’s third Commonwealth Games, after he competed at Melbourne in 2006 and in Delhi four years later, where he finished just outside the medals in fourth place.

On this year’s form, however, the British No 4 in 2014 over the distance had not been expected to feature in the medals against a field including a raft of leading Kenyans, among them world record-holder and Olympic champion David Rudisha.

UK Athletics confirmed that Warburton had been “provisionally suspended from all competitions after being charged with committing anti-doping rule violations under UK Athletics Anti-Doping rules (presence of prohibited substances).”

In a statement, it added: “The athlete has the opportunity to respond to the charges against him and to have those charges determined at a full hearing before the National Anti-Doping Panel.”

Brian Davies, the chef de mission of Team Wales, confirmed that Warburton was “no longer able to compete at the Games”. But he added: “As the athlete is presumed innocent unless and until the charges brought against him have been upheld, it would be inappropriate for us to comment further.”

Warburton has enjoyed, to date, a lengthy and successful athletics career. He boasts two European medals: an individual bronze from the European Team Championships in the 800m in 2011 and a silver as part of the British 4x400m relay team at the 2005 European Indoor Championships.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: New Business Development Manager / Sales - UK New Business

£24000 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Join a fast growing, UK based I...

MBDA UK Ltd: Mission Planning and Control Solutions Systems Engineer

Competitive salary & benefits: MBDA UK Ltd: What’s the opportunity? A pro-act...

MBDA UK Ltd: System Design Capability

Competitive salary & benefits: MBDA UK Ltd: What’s the opportunity? The small...

Recruitment Genius: Time Served Fabricator / Welders - Immediate Start

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fabricator welder required for ...

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific