8 Sep 2009

Bath players have appeals rejected

6:43 am on 8 September 2009

The former Bath rugby players Michael Lipman and Alex Crockett have had their appeals against the nine-month bans they received for missing drug tests rejected by a Rugby Football Union panel.

Lipman, Crockett and fellow Bath player Andrew Higgins, who has retired from rugby, were suspended last month after being found guilty of failing on two occasions to undertake drug tests as Bath investigated allegations of cocaine use during an end-of-season party at a London pub.

The ban took effect on June 1st, meaning Lipman and Crockett will not be eligible to play again until February 28.

Both players have resigned from Bath and will have to find new clubs if they want to resume their careers.

Another former Bath player, the Australian lock Justin Harrison, admitted using cocaine at the party and subsequently refusing to undergo a test. He was banned in July for eight months and will be eligible to resume playing or coaching in January of next year.

Earlier this year, England prop Matt Stevens, who also played for Bath, was banned for two years after testing positive for cocaine.