Latrell Mitchell was absolutely delighted!
Former South Sydney and Wigan prop Gabriel Hamlin has been given a two-year ban after he tested positive for cocaine last season.
The 23-year-old former Souths junior, who never played first grade for the Rabbitohs, was suspended by the Rugby Football League last April after being charged with a UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) violation and subsequently returned to Australia to be with his family.
UKAD say Hamlin provided a urine sample following Wigan’s second Super League match of 2019 against Leeds at the DW Stadium in February, which contained benzoylecgonine, a metabolite of cocaine.
Hamlin claimed in his statement to UKAD that he was contaminated by kissing a woman he met on a dating app.
“Mr Hamlin indicates that he and the woman kissed during the course of the evening from around 10.30pm,” the statement read.
“Mr Hamlin maintains he did not consume cocaine or see the woman consuming it; he suggests that she appeared ‘very chatty and visited the bathroom several times’ and that he discovered white powder in his bathroom the following morning (though he did not presume this to be cocaine at that time).”
However, that argument was dismissed by UKAD director of operations Pat Myhill.
“Cocaine is a dangerous drug with significant health risks, which has no place in sport,” Myhill said.
“This case is another example of a metabolite of cocaine resulting in an athlete receiving a ban from sport.
“We realise that the length of sanctions for this substance can vary between cases, this is because of the specific sanctions laid out in the Anti-Doping Rules.
“The independent expert witness in this case ruled out the possibility that ingestion took place during the in-competition period.
“This means that a possible four-year ban was reduced to two years.
“Athletes are solely responsible for what is in their system, regardless of how they claim it got there and whether there was an intention to cheat or not. It is quite simply not worth the risk.”
Hamlin’s ban will end on February 7, 2021. His contract with Wigan ran out at the end of last season.