Lipman, Crockett and Higgins quit Bath

Michael Lipman, Alex Crockett and Andrew Higgins have resigned from Bath with immediate effect.

The three players had been called to face a disciplinary hearing after they declined on three separate occasions to take a drugs test, according to Bath.



The club had been conducting an internal investigation into allegations linked to drug use and fighting at an end-of-season celebration on May 10.



The players resigned immediately before today's disciplinary hearing was due to begin.



Lipman, an England international with 10 caps to his name, and Crockett were co-captains at The Rec this season.



Bath have now lost five senior players in the space of three months.



Justin Harrison's decision to request an early release from his Bath contract and retire from rugby is understood to be linked to a fracas involving Harlequins players in a London pub.



In February, England prop Matt Stevens resigned from Bath before he was sacked after receiving a two-year ban for taking cocaine.

Bath chief executive Bob Calleja tonight confirmed the departure of Lipman, Crockett and Higgins in a brief statement.

He said: "Michael Lipman, Alex Crockett and Andrew Higgins had been required to appear at an internal disciplinary hearing today to address the failure on three occasions to take a drugs test following allegations surrounding player conduct on Sunday, May 10.



"Immediately before the hearings were due to take place the players resigned from the club with immediate effect.



"The club regards this as an internal matter and intends to make no further comment."

Bath chief executive Bob Calleja tonight confirmed the departure of Lipman, Crockett and Higgins in a brief statement.

He said: "Michael Lipman, Alex Crockett and Andrew Higgins had been required to appear at an internal disciplinary hearing today to address the failure on three occasions to take a drugs test following allegations surrounding player conduct on Sunday, May 10.



"Immediately before the hearings were due to take place the players resigned from the club with immediate effect.



"The club regards this as an internal matter and intends to make no further comment."



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