Godfrey to appeal against ban for cocaine

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The Independent Online

The York winger, Alex Godfrey, has launched an appeal against his two-year ban after becoming the first player in the British game to be identified as testing positive for cocaine.

The York winger, Alex Godfrey, has launched an appeal against his two-year ban after becoming the first player in the British game to be identified as testing positive for cocaine.

Godfrey, formerly with Hull KR and Dewsbury, was suspended after giving a sample containing traces of benzoylecgonine, one of the constituents of the drug, earlier this season. He has not played since 24 May. His appeal is expected to be heard next month and the chief executive of the National League Two club, Steve Ferres, said that they will be accompanying him to the hearing.

Robert Relf's proud record of durability in Widnes' cause will come to an end at Leeds tonight, when he ends a run of 75 appearances since joining the club two and a half years ago. Relf had no less than five operations on damaged joints over the winter and the cumulative wear and tear has finally forced him to sit out a match.

Jules O'Neill will also be missing with a rib injury against a Leeds team which sees Andrew Dunemann and Kevin Sinfield rested. Rob Burrow and Danny McGuire are reunited at half-back, with Ali Lauiti'iti starting for the first time in the second row.

Also tonight, Ellery Hanley returns to Knowsley Road for the first time since being sacked as St Helens coach four years ago after guiding Saints to the 1999 Super League title. Hanley, Castleford's coaching consultant, and the Tigers head coach, Gary Mercer, lambastedtheir players after their thrashing by Hull last week. But the same 17 are likely to be on duty against Saints, with the exception of Lee Harland, who has a calf strain.

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