International Rugby
IRB: Paterson failed RWC drugs test
ESPNscrum Staff
January 20, 2012
US Eagles' James Paterson tries to block the ball kicked by Japan's Taihei Ueda, Japan v US Eagles, Prince Chichibu Memorial Rugby Ground, Tokyo, Japan, August 21, 2011
James Paterson tries to charge down a clearance kick © Getty Images

The International Rugby Board has confirmed that the player who failed the drugs test during the 2011 World Cup was the USA's James Paterson.

Paterson has been hit with a four-month ban - backdated to October 13, 2011 - and will return to the game on February 13, 2012. Paterson tested positive for the painkiller Oxycodone during the tournament - a substance which is on the WADA Prohibited List.

The IRB claim that the painkiller was administered to Paterson to enable him to play through a shoulder injury and take to the field in the final match of their Pool stage games against Italy on September 27, 2011.

IRB Anti-Doping Manager Tim Ricketts said: "This was a very unfortunate case in the sense that it could have been avoided by referencing the WADA Prohibited List which is provided to all Unions and was proactively made available to all participating teams and players prior to and during RWC 2011.

"The main message to come from this error is that all medical personnel and Players must be diligent in checking all medications whether it be over the counter or prescription medicine to ensure it does not contain any prohibited substances. Under the strict liability principle a player is responsible for any prohibited substance found in their system."

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