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Sam Barlow sentenced for anti-doping official assault

Sam Barlow and Frank Pritchard Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Sam Barlow (l) in action against New Zealand in the 2013 Rugby League World Cup

A rugby league player who admitted assaulting a UK Anti-Doping Agency (Ukad) official has been ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work.

Sam Barlow, 28, who plays for Leigh Centurions, was visited by Mark Dean at his home in Halifax, West Yorkshire in July 2015 for a random drugs test.

Mr Dean feared he was going to be punched by the "physically imposing" Barlow, Bradford Crown Court heard.

The judge told Barlow that jailing him would be "harsh and unjust".

'Aggression and abuse'

Passing sentence, Judge Jonathan Rose told Barlow: "Your behaviour towards Mr Dean was wholly unacceptable and wholly uncalled for.

"He was courteous and polite, you met him with aggression and abuse."

The Scotland international clenched his fist and drew back his arm, stood over Mr Dean and then barred his way as the "fearful" doping control officer tried to leave the rugby player's home, the court heard.

Barlow, who admitted common assault, received a four-year ban from all sporting activity from Ukad for not taking the random, unannounced test.

Judge Rose said he had considered jailing Barlow, who did not physically attack Mr Dean, but for the sporting ban which had left his career "in ruins".

He added: "To send you to prison on top of that punishment would be, in the view of this court, harsh and unjust."

Barlow joined Leigh for the start of the 2014 season, following previous club appearances for Sheffield, Halifax and Featherstone.

He played in Scotland's 40-4 quarter-final defeat to New Zealand in the 2013 Rugby League World Cup.

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