Professional Rugby Player Suspended by UK Anti-Doping After Sentenced to Prison for Steroids

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Terry Bridge, a former professional rugby player for the Oldham Roughyeds, has been suspended from sports competition for a period of four years. The United Kingdom Anti-Doping Agency (UKADA) banned Bridge based on non-analytical positive. Specifically, the ban came as the result of a ten-month prison sentence. Bridge was sentenced after he pleaded guilty to the trafficking of anabolic steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs).

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) does not require a positive steroid test (an analytical positive) to suspend an athlete. As a signatory to the WADA code, UKADA was able to suspend Bridge Bridge solely based on his possession of stanozolol (Winstrol), testosterone (an anabolic steroid) and clenbuterol (a beta-adrenergic agonist).

Bridge was the second athlete suspended in the current steroid investigation. British shot-putter Carl Fletcher was suspended from competition for four years in November 2011 after being convicted in the same anabolic steroids trafficking investigation. Fletcher was sentenced to nine months in prison as a result.

Both Bridge and Fletcher were banned from competition for four years. Bridge was suspended until February 2016. And Fletcher was suspended until November 2015.

UKADA’s suspensions of Bridge and Fletcher were facilitated by a 2010 “memorandum of understanding” with local law enforcement agencies that involved the sharing of police intelligence with anti-doping officials. The use of law enforcement information to catch steroid-using athletes may ultimately prove to be more effective than steroid testing.

WADA has spearheaded efforts to rely less and less on steroid testing to catch doped athletes. Instead they have encouraged national anti-doping agencies to exploit information collected by police, customs, immigration and other law enforcement officials in their pursuit of steroid-using athletes.

The Bridge and Fletcher suspensions reflect UKADA’s increasing use of such intelligence-gathering techniques in its war on doping.

UK Anti-Doping and London Olympics


Sportsmail Reporter. (October 17, 2012). Jailed former Oldham reserve Bridge given four-year ban for doping offences. Retrieved from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/rugbyleague/article-2219009/Terry-Bridge-given-year-ban-doping-offences.html