RFL: Newton was not left 'high and dry' during ban

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The Independent Online

The Rugby League and the UK Anti-Doping Agency have denied that Terry Newton was left "high and dry" when he was banned from the game.

The former Great Britain hooker, 31, was found hanged at his home near Wigan in the early hours of Sunday morning. He was suspended for two years in February after becoming the first athlete to test positive for human growth hormone.

"The RFL were in dialogue with Terry about his offer to get involved in speaking to youngsters about the dangers of drugs," said the League's spokesman, John Ledger. "People in rugby league stayed close to him. He was not left high and dry."

UKAD also said that they had been talking to Newton about their investigations into the drug, which was thought to be undetectable until the introduction of a new blood test. Newton had claimed that its use was "rife" within the game, but had refused to give names. That effectively stymied his chances of a reduced sentence, which he had hoped for at one stage.

Human growth hormone is a newly-discovered problem for the game and the League insists it has no evidence that the drug, which helps to speed up tissue repair, is in widespread use.