Robin Townsend tested positive for modafinil after the Burton and District Cycling Alliance 100-mile event on September 5, 2015

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National 12-hour time trial champion Robin Townsend has been handed a four-year ban by UK Anti-Doping after testing positive for a banned stimulant in a September race.

The 46-year-old, riding for Team Swift, tested positive for modafinil at an in-competition test on September 5, having finished ninth at the Burton and District Cycling Alliance 100-mile event.

Townsend accepted UKAD’s findings but claimed he had not intentionally ingested  the stimulant, saying his drink was spiked before the event. The ban runs from October 8, 2015 to midnight on October 7, 2019.

>>> Banned cyclist Robin Townsend claims drink was spiked by longtime rival before time trial

Graham Arthur, UKAD’s Director of Legal said: “Under the World Anti-Doping Code all athletes, whether amateur or professional, must follow the principal of ‘Strict Liability’. They are solely responsible for any banned substance which is found in their system, whether or not there is an intention to cheat.

“This can be challenging for an athlete – they need to be aware of the danger to their career at all times.”

  • Carytb

    Whilst in no way condoning doping it does seem to be one rule for professionals with wealth teams and expensive lawers – 2 year bans sometimes back dated and amateurs – 4 year ban.

  • The Awakening

    The FA v Jake Livermore – Proportionality trumps mandatory doping sanction in exceptional circumstances

    http://sportslawbulletin.org/2015/12/17/the-fa-v-jake-livermore-proportionality-trumps-mandatory-doping-sanction-in-exceptional-circumstances/

    C&P the following section;

    “Comment:

    The decision is interesting for two main reasons: (1) the non-application of the mandatory penalty on grounds of proportionality and (2) the Commission’s willingness to reach a decision on the proportionate sanction on the basis of confidential, redacted facts.

    Non-application of the mandatory penalty on grounds of proportionality.”

    The FA v Jake Livermore case, puts the comments by Graham Arthur, UKAD’s ‘Director of Legal’ into context…

    RE: ““Under the World Anti-Doping Code all athletes, whether amateur or professional, must follow the principal of ‘Strict Liability’. They are solely responsible for any banned substance which is found in their system, whether or not there is an intention to cheat.”

    Has Graham Arthur, spoken the whole truth, or given us the full truth?

  • Tim packer

    John westwell.. Are you being serious. Do you honestly think the police are interested.. They can’t even be bothered with serious crimes let alone this.. Your on another planet mate!!!

  • Tim packer

    My drink was spiked!! What a joker!! What a doper!!

  • Dave Atkin

    just a simple thought on two points made:
    1) the comparison between this banned stimulant and rohypnol doesn’t hold water – the former in the amount the report says was ingested isn’t easily dissolved but even if it was possible to make it disappear in water the taste alone would have been horrendous – so he would have noticed – rohypnol is colourless and tasteless.
    2) the alleged threats made against this individual were well rumoured – if there was any substance in the allegation/excuse/accusation that his drink had been spiked or threats had been carried the Police would have been onto it many months ago.

  • John Westwell

    But it does happen in other contexts. Plenty of women (and men) have had their drinks spiked with rohypnol, so there’s no technical reason why this couldn’t be done. And as the follow-up story on the website makes clear, there was an individual who had made clear threats against Townsend and his partner, including promising to make it ‘…the end of everything you know’. Maybe it’s time for the police to become involved.

  • Gary Jogela

    Yes they always have a good honest reason for failing a test don’t they

  • careymatt

    The ‘my drink was spiked’ excuse is right up there with my dog ate my homework.

  • King of all Steve’s.

    I think before anyone flames this guy you should familiarise yourselves with the FULL back story first. This case is seriously not as clear cut as the recent Hastings & Evans cases. The full report makes some unpleasant reading and a redacted version is on the UKAD site.

  • J1

    Wow. Yet another one.