France international announces retirement after being handed drugs ban

James Gordon

Gavin Marguerite of France is tackled by Reed Mahoney of Australia in the in goal area during the U20's Rugby League match between Junior Kangaroos and France at WIN Stadium, Wollongong, Friday, October 25, 2019

France international centre Gavin Marguerite has announced his retirement from rugby league after being slapped with a three-year drugs ban.

Marguerite, 26, made his name as a centre at Toulouse, scoring 40 tries in 70 appearances during their time in League 1 and the Championship.

That earned him a Super League deal with Catalans for the 2020 season, though he never made a first team appearance for them.

He did turn out for their reserve side St Esteve in the French Elite Championship, before signing for the doomed new League 1 side Ottawa Aces.

When the Ottawa project collapsed, Marguerite signed for Villeneuve and later returned to Toulouse. His last game was against Limoux in December.

Marguerite played for France against Scotland in 2018, and also represented his country at the 2019 World Cup 9s. His last international appearance was for France B against England Knights back in October.

He tested positive for an anabolic steroid and was handed a three-year ban by the French Anti-Doping body.

That means he is ineligible to play rugby league until December 15, 2025.

The AFLD judgement states Marguerite be unable “to participate, in any capacity whatsoever, in a competition authorised or organised by a signatory organisation of the world anti-doping code or one of its members, by a league professional or an organisation responsible for international events or national non-signatories, by a sports federation, or giving rise to a prize giving in cash or in kind; to participate in any activity, including training, courses or exhibitions, authorised or organised by an organisation signatory to the World Anti-Doping Code or one of its members, by a professional league or organisation responsible for events international or national non-signatories, or by a sports federation, a league association or one of their members, unless these activities are part of recognised educational or rehabilitation programs related to the fight against doping; to exercise the functions of managerial staff or any administrative activity within a sports federation, a professional league, an organisation signatory to the code World Anti-Doping Committee or one of their members; and to take part in any sporting activity involving athletes of national level or international and financed by a public body.”

In a post on Instagram, Marguerite said: “You know, God puts us on paths with obstacles and our goal is to get out of it, lead your life to the fullest don’t look back. Do not regret anything, if you must have regrets, then regret not having done it.

“Today, a page is turned, but the book is not finished. Thank you, thank you for everything Thank you everyone.”

Half-back announces retirement

Another former France international hanging up his boots for entirely different reasons is scrum-half Remy Marginet.

Marginet, who turns 34 in May, will retire after the end of the current French Elite Championship season, where he is currently playing in Elite Two for championship chasing Ille.

He won seven caps for his country earlier in his career, where he also made two appearances in Super League for Catalans.

As well as playing for St Esteve, Lezignan and Palau in the French domestic competition, Marginet also played in the UK for Featherstone, Sheffield and Newcastle.