Stephen Hihetah: Hull RUFC and Romania player given four-year doping ban

Romania Sevens international Stephen Hihetah has been banned from all sport for four years for breaching World Rugby’s anti-doping regulations.

The 28-year-old winger failed a drugs test in February while playing for Hull RUFC in National League Two North.

Hihetah tested positive for metabolites Stanozolol, Metandienone and Tamoxifen.

At a Rugby Football Union hearing he argued he had ingested the drugs inadvertently, but the panel did not believe his account.

London-born Hihetah, whose mother is Romanian, was charged with a breach of World Rugby regulation 21.2.1 – “presence of a prohibited substance or its metabolites or markers in a player’s sample”.

He claimed he ingested the drugs from a pre-workout drink given to him by a friend during gym sessions in London over the Christmas period in 2018, and returned a positive urine sample following training two months later.

His ban is back-dated to 12 June, and he will therefore be suspended until 11 June 2023.

“All rugby players are subject to the anti-doping rules which are in place to protect players and the integrity of our sport,” RFU anti-doping and illicit drugs programme manager Stephen Watkins said.

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