ROCHDALE Hornets forward Andy Lea has been banned from all sport for four years following Anti-Doping Rule Violations (ADRVs) for the presence of prohibited substances.

On 9 January 2020, UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) collected an out-of-competition urine sample from Lea at a Rochdale Hornets training session.

Analysis of Lea’s urine sample returned Adverse Analytical Findings (AAFs) for drostanolone and its metabolite, and a metabolite of trenbolone.

Drostanolone and trenbolone are anabolic steroids which artificially improve athletic performance and are prohibited at all times.

Lea admitted the ADRVs and provided an explanation where he acknowledged taking a product called ‘TTM’, but only to improve his physical appearance.

Lea said that he understood ‘TTM’ contained trenbolone and drostanolone, but that he did not know what those steroids were.

Lea accepted that he is not able to show that his ADRV was not ‘intentional’ (as that term is defined in the Anti-Doping Rules). In these circumstances a four-year ban applies.

Speaking on the case, UKAD’s Director of Operations, Pat Myhill said: “Athletes have a responsibility to themselves, their fellow athletes and sport to ensure that they are adhering to the Anti-Doping Rules in order to keep sport clean.

"This includes double checking all products, supplements and medications for prohibited substances. It is not enough to say ‘I didn’t know they were steroids’.

“Athletes should familiarise themselves with the Prohibited List each year, and use Informed Sport and Global DRO to check their products before ingesting.

"The onus is on the athlete to know exactly what they are putting into their bodies at all times.”

Lea first accepted the ADRVs two weeks after receiving the Notice of Charge from UKAD.

UKAD considers this a timely admission as set out in the Anti-Doping Rules, therefore his four-year ban is started on 9 January 2020 and will end at midnight on 8 January 2024.

Loose forward Lea captained National Conference League side Thatto Heath for the three years before joining Hornets at the end of last season.

Captain of the Lancashire BARLA tri series in 2019, Lea toured Fiji in 2018 with BARLA Great Britain Open Age.