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Rugby League; Hilton is fined by Hornets

Rugby League

The Rochdale Hornets forward Tony Hilton has been fined an undisclosed sum by his club after being banned for three months by the . Rochdale have also warned the 24-year-old Hilton about his future conduct, after he tested positive for ephedrine following last month's game against Featherstone Rovers.

Ephedrine is found in cough and cold remedies, but Hornets' secretary, Paul Reynolds, said: "We have always made it plain we will not tolerate the use of banned substances."

Hilton is the first player in the domestic game to be suspended for drug- taking this season, although three players were thrown out of the World Cup after testing positive for banned substances. The has taken steps to try to eradicate the use of banned substances - it tests players at training in and out of season and tests two members of each side after matches.

St Helens face four games in 11 days in a hectic Christmas period after bringing forward their home game against Warrington from Sunday 7 January to Friday 5 January to be televised by Sky Sports. Their Boxing Day derby at Wigan is followed by the Regal Trophy semi-final home tie with Warrington on Saturday 30 December and a home match against Leeds on New Year's Day.

n Widnes have been given the go-ahead to start work on an ambitious pounds 8m redevelopment programme at Naughton Park, their home since 1884.