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
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Office / Sales Manager

£22000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established and expanding South...

Recruitment Genius: Administrative Assistant / Order Fulfilment

£14000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join a thrivi...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones