Disillusioned Gleeson wants union switch after drug ban


Click to follow
The Independent Online

Martin Gleeson is looking to switch codes on his return from an 18-month drug ban later this year.

The former England centre was left so disillusioned by the circumstances surrounding his ban, in which two Hull officials were also barred from the sport, that he wants to end his career playing union either in this country or France.

Gleeson could return to training with any new employer in August ahead of the ban ending on 10 November if he fulfils the rehabilitation criteria laid down by UK Anti-Doping. Gleeson celebrated his 32nd birthday yesterday but believes he is still capable of playing top-level rugby for another four years. He has been linked with a return to Super League with Castleford but wants a clean break from the sport.

"I'd have to weigh up all possibilities but I've no desire or will to play rugby league again," said Gleeson, who has employed a personal trainer via his gym in Wilmslow to help him get fit. "That's all been sucked out of me. I don't want to go back and play in the RFL [Rugby Football League] again. Too much has gone on. I want a fresh challenge."

Last year Gleeson blew the whistle on an attempt by James Rule, Hull's chief executive, to cover up the true circumstances of Gleeson's positive test for MHA. Under Rule's direction, Gleeson lied to the first tribunal before coming clean. Gleeson remains deeply unsatisfied with how the affair was handled, not only by Rule but also the sport's governing body.

"There are still unanswered questions," he said. "Yes there was something in my system, totally by accident, and it could have been any number of people at the club. I've been made out to be the bad guy. They just brush it under the carpet and hope it goes away.

"I was in a bad way when I got the ban but I've got myself in a better place and I'm not going to pack it all up now because of what happened."