Top 14 Orange
Armitage confident after drugs accusation
ESPN Staff
July 27, 2012
Toulon's Steffon Armitage delights in a score against Castres, Toulon v Castres, Top 14 Orange, Stade Mayol, Toulon, France, April 21, 2012
Steffon Armitage is confident that he will clear his name © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Steffon Armitage
Tournaments/Tours: Top 14 Orange
Teams: England | Toulon

Toulon flanker Steffon Armitage is confident that he will clear his name after testing positive for a banned substance.

The 26-year-old failed a drugs test after morphine was found in a sample provided in the wake of Toulon's loss to Toulouse in the Top 14 final.

The club has since come out fighting in defence of Armitage - a star performer last season - insisting that the positive was a by-product of legal painkillers prescribed for back pain.

"It's a bit stressful, especially for my family in England," Armitage said. "But I will keep my head held high because I have done nothing wrong.

"I know that everything will soon be sorted, that I will be able to forget about this and come back stronger."

Toulon confirmed their belief that Armitage had not taken anything deemed illegal by the French Agency for the Fight against Doping (AFLD) in a statement.

"Toulon Rugby Club received a letter this Wednesday, July 25, 2012, from the French Rugby Federation reporting an 'abnormal' result from an anti-doping test taken by Steffon Armitage after the Top 14 final on June 9 at the Stade de France," the statement read.

"Before the game, Steffon Armitage took two tablets of paracetamol codeine, a medicine strictly authorised by the French Agency for the Fight against Doping (AFLD).

"Having suffered with back pain in the week leading up to the game, Steffon Armitage was given anti-inflammatories as well as paracetamol codeine (two to four tablets per day) for these pains. All of the medicines administered are authorised by the AFLD.

"The presence of morphine in Steffon Armitage's urine sample is explained by the fact that 10% of this medicine (paracetamol codeine) is converted naturally into morphine. Steffon Armitage has absolutely not taken any illegal substance to improve his performances, but solely a medicine strictly authorised by the AFLD and well known to all."

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