Oxford rowers banned for two years after failing doping tests

Two Oxford Brookes University rowers have been suspended from all sport for two years after testing positive for banned stimulants.

Sybren Hoogland, 21 and Timothy Grant, 22, of Oxford Brookes University Boat Club tested positive for stimulants after tests at the Ghent International Regatta in Belgium on May 9 this year.

Benzoylecgonine, a metabolite of cocaine, showed up in Hoogland’s system. He will be banned from all sport until May 8, 2017.

Grant is a full-time student at the university, and Hoogland was a foundation degree student at one of the university’s Associate College Partners (ACP) and represented the club as a guest rower.

Grant, who rowed for the Great Britain u23 squad, tested positive for a nerve stimulant called modafinil,  known to increase concentration and focus. He will be banned until June 3, 2017.

Nicole Sapstead, Chief Executive of UK Anti-Doping, confirmed the bans on Friday and said: “Hoogland and Grant are two young athletes who clearly made the wrong choices in their personal lives.

‘The consequence of those choices is that they have damaged their sporting careers and their reputations.

“Both athletes have been through extensive anti-doping education but their decisions to ignore the advice they were given has resulted in two-year bans from all sport.”

Natalie Gidley, spokesperson for Oxford Brookes University, said: “We can confirm that two rowers who completed for the Boat Club in May 2015 returned positive drug test results.

“These are unconnected incidents and both were found to be unintentional breaches of anti-doping rules.”

Both rowers are no longer members of the Oxford Brookes Boat Club, but Grant is continuing studies at the university.

Ms Sapstead added: “Tim’s test result proved positive for the substance modafinil, which he took to assist him with his studies as it is has become associated with improved concentration. Sybren’s test result proved positive for the substance cocaine.

“At no stage did Tim or Sybren seek to gain any advantage by the use of the prohibited substances involved. Each has admitted full responsibility for the substance being present in his system.”