GMB rugby player for Salford City Reds is free to continue playing after being cleared of drugs misuse18 March 2009
Having suffered from asthma since birth Ian uses the inhaler to control his breathing
GMB member, Salford City Reds second-row Ian Sibbit has been found with no case to answer by the Rugby Football league (RFL) after an independent drugs test showed high levels of asthma drug Salbutamol in his system.
Further to an appeal lodged by the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA), Ian has been reprimanded for his use of the drug caused by his asthma inhaler, but will not be banned from the game.
Having suffered from asthma since birth Ian uses the inhaler to control his breathing during a match and had been issued a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) form which he believed allowed him to use Salbutamol freely. However the appeal found he had misunderstood the TUE and was using the inhaler too often.
Ian was tested during a random drugs test on April 11, 2008 following a game against Widnes Vikings and although informed in May by the RFL that he had no case to answer, was later told that the WADA were appealing RFL’s decision.
During the process, Ian has had the support of the Club, GMB his Union and a Solicitor as he fought to clear his name.
Speaking about the decision Ian Sibbit said: "I am delighted that I can now put this behind me. Rugby league is my life and I have never taken any performance enhancing drugs.
The thought that I could be banned for two years has hung over me and I now look forward to concentrating on my game.
I have now been advised by the doctor on ways to manage my asthma effectively. This will not be a mistake I will be repeating."
Geoff Burrow from the GMB’s Sport’s Section said: “GMB are only too happy to support Ian in his fight to clear his name. It is unfortunate that he has had this appeal hanging over him since the start of the season in September. However he has proved his strength of mind by continuing to perform well for Salford City Reds.”
Justin Madders from Thompsons Solicitors added: “We hope now that Ian can return to what he does best – playing rugby. He can now put this behind him and concentrate on his career.”
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