Rugby League star Ryan Bailey has managed to avoid a ban despite refusing to provide a sample for drug testing.
The 33-year-old Toronto Wolfpack player was required to provide a sample by the Canadian anti-doping agency on May 30, 2017 at the Lamport Stadium in Toronto after a training session with his club.
But former England international Bailey, working with barrister Daniel Saoul, was adamant that the water he had drunk that had been given to him by the doping control officer could have been contaminated and he would therefore not provide a sample.
Ryan Bailey has managed to avoid a drugs ban despite refusing to take a test on May 30, 2017
A tribunal comprising Mr Robert Englehart QC, Dr Terry Crystal and Mr Colin Murdock were satisfied he had committed an anti-doping rule violation but did not give him any suspension due to the exceptional circumstances of his case.
The chairman of the tribunal commented: 'Having heard Mr Bailey give evidence we do not for one moment think that he is a cheat or was trying to cover up drug taking. Indeed, we note that a few days later Mr Bailey did in fact undergo a drug test (which was negative) without any problem.'
Bailey, who has featured in over 300 Super League games over his career, has now been cleared to join pre-season training with his team-mates.
Former world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury had his charge for refusing to take a test in September 2016 withdrawn last month. But the case involving Bailey appears to be the first time this charge from UKAD has successfully been defended before a Tribunal.
There are only two arguments to defend against evading, refusing or failing to submit to sample collection - the first is a compelling justification, while the second is if, in your refusal, you bore no fault or negligence.
Either will see an athlete avoid a ban.
The 33-year-old refused as he was adamant that the water he had drunk that had been given to him by the doping control officer could have been contaminated
Bailey's lawyers argued, through a combination of his circumstances, psychological evidence and a series of witnesses, that their client bore no fault or