Gleeson gets three-year drugs ban

 

The career of the Great Britain centre Martin Gleeson is almost certainly over and those of two other Hull FC employees subject to lengthy interruptions after a drug-testing scandal at the club came to light yesterday.

Gleeson tested positive for the banned stimulant methylhexaneamine after the match against Salford on 13 May. He has been banned for two years for that, plus an extra year for lying to the UK Anti-Doping Agency. Half of the three years has been suspended in the light of the player's later cooperation and it has been backdated to last June. That still means that he is unable to play until next November.

At the age of 32, and with his chequered record, it is hard to imagine any club taking a chance on him then, as Hull did when they signed him on an 18-month contract after Wigan released him following an internal suspension last April.

Also implicated in his latest misadventure are the former Hull chief executive, James Rule, and their fitness conditioner, Ben Cooper. Both men have already left the club as part of a reorganisation under its new owner, Adam Pearson. They have been found guilty of conspiring with Gleeson to try to conceal the circumstances of his offence. Both have been banned from any involvement with the game for two years, half of it suspended in Cooper's case.

UKADA said yesterday that the two employees' suspensions were the first of their type in British sport. "The case marks two firsts for the anti-doping community," said its chief executive, Andy Parkinson. "It is the first time that tampering with the doping control process in this manner has resulted in a violation and the first time that members of an athlete's entourage have been convicted of anti-doping violations in the UK."

The chief executive of the RFL, Nigel Wood, said: "Such behaviour is unacceptable and this has brought the sport of rugby league into disrepute. Doping of any kind will not be tolerated in our sport."

This latest scandal has ruined what remained of the career of one of Britain's most talented centres of recent years. Gleeson won 20 Great Britain caps, as well as six for England, plus most honours at club level, but was never far from controversy. He began his career at Huddersfield, before a transfer to St Helens, where he spent the last four months of the 2004 season suspended for placing bets on his team to lose at Bradford. After a stint at Warrington, he joined his hometown club, Wigan, and scored two tries for them in their Grand Final victory over St Helens in 2010.

Last season, however, his career went off the rails, with Wigan sacking him after a suspension for an incident at training. Gleeson complained that, away from the club, he had been subject to threats and blackmail, but later withdrew the complaint.

He then signed for Hull but after just seven matches disappeared from the scene. Rule said at the time that the player had been given compassionate leave because of a stress-related illness. As usual with Gleeson, the true situation has turned out to be even messier than the alibi.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
Harrison Ford attends Blade Runner at Target Presents AFI's Night at the Movies at ArcLight Cinemas on 24 April, 2013 in Hollywood, California
film... but Ridley Scott won't direct
Sport
Hughes is hit by a bouncer from Sean Abbott
cricketStephen Brenkley on batsman's tragic flaw that led to critical injury
Sport
Dejected England players applaud the fans following their team's 3-0 defeat
football

News
people

Actress isn't a fan of Ed Miliband

Life and Style
Stefan Gates with some mince flies
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Rooney Mara plays a white Tiger Lily in forthcoming film Pan
filmFirst look at Rooney Mara in Pan
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital