Wasps have issued a statement following the 6-month ban of hooker/backrow Ashley Johnson, who was found guilty of taking the banned substance hydrochlorothiazide.
Johnson, 32, claimed to have mistaken his wife's fat burning tablet 'The Secret' for his usual 'Nutrilean' supplement.
The RFU found the former Springbok international to have shown "no significant fault or negligence", handing Johnson a six-month ban from all sports that was back-dated to November 7th, making him eligible again from the 6th of August. This allows the South African to take part in Wasps' season from their season-opening fixture, away to Worcester Warriors.
“We fully support the measures in place to keep rugby doping-free, and are grateful for the professionalism shown by everyone involved in this case." Said Wasps' Director of Rugby Dai Young.
“Ashley has been at Wasps since 2012 and in that time successfully completed countless anti-doping tests. He is an extremely honourable person who has made a one-off accidental error for which he has held his hands up, apologised and accepted the consequences.
“This situation has highlighted just how easily a player can make a mistake of this kind.
We have therefore strongly reinforced to all our squad that they must always be on their guard and fully aware of exactly what they consume.
“The last few months have been doubly difficult for us all because a process had to be followed and that prevented Ashley or anyone at Wasps from providing updates. I know this has been hard for our supporters; I would like to thank them for their understanding and hope we can now all focus fully on the season ahead.”
“I was horrified when I got the test results and once we tracked back and worked out I had inadvertently taken the wrong tablet. I completely accept that I am responsible for everything in my body. Drug use is not something I would ever condone, and from now on I will be extra vigilant at all times.
“I would like to thank my family and friends, everyone at Wasps, the RPA and our fans for their support through this difficult period and apologise unreservedly for what has happened. I am now working hard in pre-season and am looking forward to putting this behind me and getting back to being part of the Wasps squad.”
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