Thomas Minns handed 16-month drugs ban

Former Hull KR centre Thomas Minns has been banned for 16 months after testing positive for cocaine.

Minns, 24, will be free to return to action on July 14, having failed the test after Hull KR’s win over Huddersfield last March.

He admitted taking the drug as he struggled to come to terms with his mother’s death.

UK Anti Doping’s chief executive Nicole Sapstead said: “All athletes must adhere to the principle of strict liability.

“Regardless of whether or not they are deliberately seeking to gain an unfair sporting advantage.

“It is an athlete’s responsibility to know what substances are in their system, and they must be aware that even if a substance is not banned out-of-competition, there is always the possibility of it remaining in their body for a period of time and it being detected in-competition.”

The former Leeds and London Broncos centre was released by Hull KR in July and is currently without a club.

Shortly after his positive test, he said: “I was low and depressed on the day and I felt at the time I needed to do it to get through

“I now totally accept that it was huge mistake which could cost me my career. I can now only ask for forgiveness and for my arguments of mitigation to be heard and understood.

“I do not wish for sympathy. All I ask is that I am listened to and I can make everyone aware that I did not take this substance to enhance my performance at rugby in anyway.”