Rugby player Newton helped doping probe - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Rugby player Newton helped doping probe

28/09/2010 03:45:35 AM Comments (0)

A rugby league player serving a ban for using human growth hormone had been helping anti-doping investigators before his death, officials say.

Former British international Terry Newton was found hanged at his home in Wigan on Sunday in a suspected suicide.

His death came seven months after Newton became the first athlete worldwide to be suspended for testing positive for human growth hormone. He was 31.

UK Anti-Doping chief executive Andy Parkinson said on Monday: "In recent months, Mr Newton had been assisting UK Anti-Doping in its enquires into the use and supply of performance-enhancing drugs.

"While the circumstances of our relationship with Mr Newton were hardly ideal, we had respect for his openness and willingness to share his story to help his sport."

Newton is reported to have become depressed after being handed a two-year ban by the Rugby Football League (RFL), but Parkinson denied the former Wigan, Leeds and Bradford player had been abandoned by the governing body.

"The RFL takes anti-doping seriously - it has a rigorous testing program in place, and provides a high level of education and support to its players and clubs," Parkinson said.

Newton, who played 15 times for Britain, had been running a pub in his hometown of Wigan since his contract with Wakefield was terminated in February because of his suspension.

Supporters at the Super League grand final between Wigan and St Helens on Saturday will observe a minute's silence in memory of Newton.

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