Toronto Wolfpack have confirmed that forward Ryan Bailey has won his case against UK Anti-Doping.
Following the decision of the National Anti-Doping Panel, the 33-year-old has been cleared to play with immediate effect.
The hearing related to an alleged Anti-Doping Rule Violation, by reason of refusal to submit a sample collection on Tuesday 30 May 2017.
However, the Canadian club and their legal team successfully argued that due to a number of truly exceptional circumstances in the case, Bailey bore ‘no fault or negligence’ in failing to submit a sample.
The chairman of the tribunal stated in the judgment that: “Having heard Mr Bailey give evidence, we do not for one moment think that he is a cheat or was trying to cover up drug taking. Indeed, we note that a few days later, Mr Bailey did in fact undergo a drug test (which was negative) without any problem.”
Toronto Wolfpack’s director or rugby, Brian Noble, said: “The correct verdict has been returned. On behalf of the Wolfpack I’d like to thank the tribunal for their professionalism and time in dealing with this complex case.”
“As an organization we have a duty of care to Ryan both as a player and as an employee. It was important to support Ryan through this difficult personal process, and help him emerge with what we believe is a fair outcome.
Noble added: “This has been a very challenging period for Ryan and I commend his fortitude in dealing with this matter whilst maintaining his professional focus for the Wolfpack. Ryan is an extremely valued member of our playing group and we are really excited about him being a major part of the squad in 2018.
“I would also like to pay tribute to Ryan’s legal team. Our UK legal partners, Brandsmiths, dealt with this case with sensitivity and great professionalism.” Noble concluded.
Bailey, a former England and Great Britain international, has now linked up with the Wolfpack at their pre-season training camp in Manchester.
He will be eligible for selection for Toronto’s pre-season clash with Bradford Bulls on January 26.