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Welsh pair say they are not cheats

rhys williams

Gareth Warburton and Rhys Williams say they are not cheats after being banned for failing drugs tests.

The Welsh athletes were “at fault or negligent” but had not knowingly taken anything containing the prohibited substances, says an official national anti-doping report  published on Monday.

Williams, 30, was banned for four months and Warburton, 31, for six.

Warburton said: “I’m not a cheat. I’m a clean athlete. It’s a contaminated substance case.”

The independent tribunal found neither athlete took enough advice before consuming Mountain Fuel supplements, some of which were contaminated with an anabolic steroid.

Both athletes, who have now served their bans, have urged other athletes not to take sporting supplements after their experience with the contaminated blackcurrant-flavour energy drink.

“My advice is not to take supplements at all and if you do take them, do the right checks,” said Warburton, who vowed to never again use such products.

“There’s no way of knowing 100% that they’re safe so if you’re not 100% sure, don’t take them.”

Asked if he felt his punishment was fair, Warburton replied: “Yeah, I think it is.”

Warburton says he and Williams were “just unlucky” and that his ban has been accompanied by a £10,000 financial loss, plus sponsors withdrawing their support.

He added: “Emotionally it’s cost a lot… but I think I’ve come out as a better person.”

Williams echoed Warburton when he said: “Parents will probably like it, it’ll save them money, but don’t touch supplements.”

Former European 400m hurdles champion Williams added the case had cost him about £100,000 and claimed he should have been exonerated.

“I should have received [a ban of] nothing because I’ve done nothing wrong,” said Williams.

“And you look at the facts and figures and you can see that.”

He added he was “baffled” by it all and said athlete education was not good enough if he and Warburton could be caught out.


  1. […] Welsh pair say they are not cheats is a post from: Drugs in Sport […]

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