15 Premier League players fail drugs tests, but none are banned 3 months ago

15 Premier League players fail drugs tests, but none are banned

12 players tested positive for banned performance-enhancing substances over a five-year period

At least 15 Premier League players failed drugs tests between 2015 and 2020 but none of them were banned, a report from The Mail on Sunday has revealed.


Following a series of Freedom of Information requests, The Mail reported that, of the 15 players, 12 of them tested positive for banned performance-enhancing substances.

Another player - who didn't receive a ban - was still being investigated five months after his initial test.

The report adds that, across a seven year period from 2013, there were 88 positive tests among footballers in England, Scotland and Wales.


Included in the 12 performance-enhancing substance cases was a positive test for an amphetamine, with three findings of triamcinolone.

Four positives for the stimulant Ritalin were also recorded in the cases involving the Premier League footballers.


There was one positive test for the testosterone booster Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG), which is a hormone that has a history of abuse in MMA and cycling.

The other positive tests were for the steroids prednisolone and a derivative, as well as the diuretic indapamide, which can serve as a masking drug for other banned substances.

While none of the positive cases among the Premier League players led to doping bans, The Mail state that the UK Anti-doping Agency said a decision not to sanction was generally down to accidental ingestion or the player having a Therapeutic Use Exemption.

Of the 88 positive results, 39 were itemised by UKAD in response to The Mail on Sunday's Freedom of Information requests.


UKAD's reasons for declining to itemise the other 49 cases included the Football Association telling them "it would not be acceptable" to detail cases involving social drugs that are banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency but not by the FA.

Other reasons cited included the protection of minors, and that the release of other information could compromise UKAD's investigative functions.

The Premier League were said to be comfortable that all 12 'performance-enhancing' cases had innocent explanations, which is why no bans were handed out as a result.

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