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News & Comment

Minister's son banned from rugby for taking steroids

The teenage son of the Environment Secretary, Caroline Spelman, has been suspended from playing rugby for 21 months after admitting that he took banned substances.

The Rugby Football Union announced 17-year-old Jonathan Spelman is barred from taking part in any match or tournament until 19 October 2013.

Jonathan admitted taking a number of drugs, including anabolic steroids and a growth hormone, when he appeared before an independent disciplinary tribunal on 26 March.

In February, the Spelman family tried to suppress details about the case being published through a High Court injunction but later issued a statement saying Jonathan was "deeply sorry" for taking the substances.

Panel chairman Christopher Quinlan, QC, said the tribunal had taken into account "the player's youth, immaturity and admissions".