Malta star hit with two year ban

Malta scrum-half Roderick Attard has been banned for two years after he was found guilty of breaching the RFL’s anti-doping regulations.

Attard, 25, signed for Gateshead at the start of the season in what was seen as a big step forward for rugby league in Malta.

However, his stint in England came to an abrupt end when he was found to have provided a sample containing metabolites of nandrolone (an anabolic steroid).

Thunder chairman Rod Findlay commented: “We do not condone doping and the club offer extensive anti-doping education to all players.

“Unfortunately, Rod was tested only two days into his stay with the club and before he received any education.

“He did not realise that he could have applied for a Therapeutic Use Exemption which would have avoided the charge and unfortunately there is no room in the rules for a retrospective application.

“I do not believe for a moment that Rod took steroids to gain a sporting advantage.”

His two-year suspension was back dated to March 2nd 2010, the day his provisional suspension commenced.

Attard joined Thunder ahead of their Championship 1 campaign after impressing in the open trials the club held following their period of administration last autumn.

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