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Collingwood defender faces four-year ban over drug test

Football

Collingwood defender Sam Murray is under investigation by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority after allegedly testing positive on matchday for a banned illicit substance.

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ASADA last week reportedly made the 20-year-old aware of an elevated reading for an illicit substance stemming from the test.

As illicit substances are considered performance-enhancing in matchday tests, Murray faces a ban of up to four years.

“I would like to reinforce that Collingwood is unequivocally committed to the cause of eliminating drugs in sport,” Collingwood CEO Mark Anderson said.

“We fully support all anti-doping policies and our athletes understand the rules in place. Collingwood has worked hard to develop a culture of professionalism and respect within its teams and we are making great progress.

“It would be inappropriate to pre-empt the outcome of the ASADA process.

“In addition to ensuring we comply fully with the ASADA process, we are also ensuring that we support Sam as a person.

“Whatever the outcome of the ASADA investigation, the welfare of a young man must remain a priority and we are committed to providing the support that Sam needs.”

Murray has sought independent legal advice.

The 13-game player, who crossed to the Magpies from Sydney at the end of last season, was picked for last Saturday’s clash against Port Adelaide but was later withdrawn for what the club said was “personal reasons”.

Three years ago, Collingwood players Josh Thomas and Lachie Keeffe were both banned for two years after testing positive to the banned substance Clenbuterol. 

In that instance, the Clenbuterol was in an illicit substance consumed by the pair at a music festival.

Thomas is still on Collingwood’s list and is enjoying a fine 2018 campaign, while Keeffe now plays for GWS.

-AAP

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