Wasps statement regarding Ashley Johnson

Date: 26 Jul 2018

Wasps confirm that Ashley Johnson has been given a six-month ban after testing positive on February 7 2018 for banned substance hydrochlorothiazide.

At a hearing conducted by the independent national anti-doping panel, the long-serving forward advised he mistakenly took his wife’s fat burner ‘the Secret’ rather than his own legitimate supplement ‘Nutrilean.’

Having considered various submissions, the hearing concluded that Johnson acted without intent.

It therefore found there was “no significant fault or negligence” on his part and decided six months to be an appropriate period of ineligibility.

Due to the player’s timely admission and his conduct during the investigation, it was deemed that the ban should be backdated to February 7, making him eligible again from August 6 2018.
Under World Rugby regulation Johnson is permitted to fully resume training with his club with immediate effect.

Director of rugby David Young said:
“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. “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.”

Ashley Johnson said:
“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.”