Tuesday 20 March 2018

Champion Dublin athlete banned for two years after failing doping test

Tomas Rauktys has been banned for two years. Picture credit: Tomas Greally / SPORTSFILE
Tomas Rauktys has been banned for two years. Picture credit: Tomas Greally / SPORTSFILE

DUBLIN-based athlete Tomas Rauktys has been banned for two years after failing at the Irish National Track and Field Championships in Santry last July.

The ban on the triple national champion was announced this morning by Athletics Ireland and the Irish Sports Council after an investigation by the Irish Sport Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel.

Rauktys (28) has competed with the Clonliffe Harriers club for five years and is originally from Lithuania but has never represented Ireland. He won the discus, shot put and 56lb weight-for-distance titles at the National Championships on July 27.

But following his victories Rauktys provided a sample which tested positive for the presence of a prohibited anabolic steroid, Stanozolol, according to the Irish Sports Council.

In a statement, the Clonliffe Harriers club has expressed its shock and disappointment at a member committing a doping offence.

“Clonliffe Harriers abhors the use of drugs in our sport and is fully supportive of the excellent work which is being carried out by the Irish Sports Anti-Doping Programme,” the statement says.

The matter will be considered further by the club's committee next week. The last Irish athlete to fail a doping test was marathon runner Martin Fagan from Mullingar Harriers in 2011.

Rauktys will be ineligible for competition until 2015, with the ban backdated to August 15, when he was provisionally suspended by Athletics Ireland. The athlete had opted not to appeal his suspension.

Stanozolol is the same steroid for which Canadian athlete Ben Johnson was banned in the 1980s.

Rauktys' results from July 27 to the time of his provisional suspension on August 15 have been disqualified.

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