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RFU v Ralph Rainbow

March 10, 2021

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RFU v Ralph Rainbow

A decision in the case of Rugby Football Union (RFU) v Ralph Rainbow has been published by the National Anti-Doping Panel (NADP).

On 12 July 2018, a package addressed to Ralph Rainbow, an amateur rugby union player from England, and containing a variety of paraphernalia linked to Human Growth Hormone was seized by the UK Border Force. Human Growth Hormone is a Prohibited Substance in accordance with the WADA Prohibited List 2018.

The NADP Tribunal, consisting of Michelle Duncan, Lorraine Johnson and Prof. Dorian Haskard finds that whilst the Player never physically came into possession of a Prohibited Substance, the evidence submitted by the RFU is sufficient to conclude that, by asking a third party to order the Prohibited Substance on his behalf to an address over which he maintained control, the Player intended to exercise control over a Prohibited Substance thus constituting effective possession by purchase as regards WR Regulation 21.2.6. Furthermore, the evidence submitted confirms the Player made the purchase intending to use the Prohibited Substance to enable him to continue playing rugby, thereby constituting a further ADRV in pursuant of WR Regulation 21.2.2.

For the reasons set out above a period of Ineligibility of four years was imposed. The Ineligibility period is to run from 30 September 2020 until 29 September 2024.

A copy of the full decision can be accessed via the related documents tab on the right-hand side. 

The National Anti-Doping Panel (NADP) is the United Kingdom’s independent tribunal responsible for adjudicating anti-doping disputes in sport. It is operated by Sport Resolutions and is entirely independent of UK Anti-Doping who is responsible for investigating, charging and prosecuting cases before the NADP.

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