RUGBY LEAGUE: Myers handed a four-month ban


David Myers, the Bradford Northern winger, was yesterday fined £2,000 and banned for four months by the Rugby League for failing to provide a sample for drugs testing.

Myers, who had faced a possible two-year suspension, was told of his punishment after a three-hour hearing and was immediately smuggled out of the RL headquarters in Leeds without speaking to waiting reporters.

His Bradford team-mate Dave Watson, charged with the same offence, had his case adjourned until Friday morning.

The 23-year-old Myers, found guilty of breaching dope testing regulations, used mitigating circumstances in his defence - including getting times mixed up.

Maurice Lindsay, the RL chief executive, said: "He was adamant that he was innocent of any drug abuse. He pleaded that he literally made a fool of himself by not being at the station at the correct time.

"Part of his defence was that the form said to be at the station no later than 1700 hours. He said he thought that was 7pm and he turned up at 10 to seven.

"He said he was still at the ground, but at a part of the ground where nobody expected him to be - he was in the public bar."

Lindsay said Myers had immediately offered to take a test the following day, which was subsequently conducted by his club, and that the test indicated he had no banned substances in his system on that particular day.

Lindsay added: "He offered evidence that he was clean the following day, but we pointed out to him that the Sports Council's policy of no-notice testing is all that matters - what's the point of having your test if you give someone notice? So he was forced to accept, which he did, that he was in breach of the doping control regulations."

Myers was already banned until 30 May for deliberately running into the back of a referee during a cup tie last month, so the new suspension effectively adds three weeks on top of his previous punishment.

Watson must wait until Friday morning before finding out his fate - the same day Bradford visit St Helens in the Stones Bitter Championship. Peter Fox, Bradford's coach, said: "Dave Watson will be in no position to want to play - that's if he can play."

Fox himself had earlier in the day appeared before the RL board of directors and fined £500, half of it suspended, for making a gesture at the crowd following last month's home defeat by Featherstone.

But no action was taken against Fox on two charges of obstructing and verbally abusing two independent sampling officers following two recent matches.

The board considered written evidence from the Sports Council officers and they also heard evidence from Fox, who was supported by Bradford's assistant coach, Nigel Stephenson, and the club's doctor, Chris Butler, plus two letters of support.

Faced with "incomplete and confusing evidence", the board were unable to satisfy themselves conclusively that a breach of the bye-laws had occurred.

n Garry Jack, the former Australia Test full-back, manager of Salford since July 1993, resigned last night for "personal reasons" the day after a demonstration by around 200 fans following the 48-16 defeat by Castleford.

SILK CUT CHALLENGE CUP Semi-finals: Leeds v Featherstone; Wigan v Oldham (Ties to be played 25 March and 1 April).

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
David Silva strokes home his and City's second goal
Arts and Entertainment
a clockwork orange, stanley kubrick
The Tesco Hudl2: An exceptional Android tablet that's powerful, well-built and outstanding value

Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Life and Style
food + drinkAuthor DBC Pierre presents his guide to the morning after
Life and Style
food + drink
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Finance Director

£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...

Recruitment Genius: Medico-Legal Assistant

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...

Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

The Jenrick Group: Quality Inspector

£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas