Hull KR call for inquiry into Martin Gleeson drug ban

Neil Hudgell
Neil Hudgell's Rovers side beat city rivals Hull FC 17-10 on 5 June

Hull KR chairman Neil Hudgell is to ask the Rugby Football League for an inquiry into the Hull FC drug bans.

Former Black and Whites centre Martin Gleeson, chief executive James Rule and coach Ben Cooper have been banned for anti-doping rule breaches.

"I will be raising some questions with the RFL as to the protocols and processes that were followed," Hudgell told BBC Radio Humberside.

"There needs to be a full inquiry as to who knew what at that club."

Former England and Great Britain international Gleeson tested positive for banned stimulant methylhexaneamine after playing in Hull FC's 32-16 win over Salford City Reds on 13 May, a game in which he scored twice.

After a successful appeal to UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) for Gleeson to play in the cross-city derby against Hudgell's Rovers on 5 June, Gleeson scored one of Hull FC's tries in a 17-10 defeat.

Following conclusion of the case, the 31-year-old was eventually banned by UKAD for three years, with half of that suspended.

Rule was given a two-year ban, while Cooper was banned for two years, with one suspended, as both men were deemed to be "complicit in the lies" that followed the test.

Ex-Huddersfield, St Helens, Warrington and Wigan centre Gleeson, who played his last game for the Black and Whites against Harlequins on 12 June, nearly a month after the initial positive test, had his contract terminated in September.

In a statement released on Sunday, RFL chief operating officer Ralph Rimmer defended their role in the saga.

"We are clear that the governing body acted entirely appropriately throughout what was a long and complicated investigation involving UK Anti-Doping and a National Anti-Doping Panel," said Rimmer.

UKAD gave their backing to the RFL in a statement released on Monday, saying: "UK Anti-Doping conducted full and extensive investigations which led to three individuals receiving bans totalling seven years.

"This was the first time that any member of an athlete's entourage has been banned in this country and the first time globally that tampering with the doping control process in this manner has resulted in a violation.

"We sought external legal advice to independently review all possible charges during this process. Throughout our investigations, when approximately 250 hours of UK Anti-Doping staff time was spent on this case, we received support from Hull RLFC and the RFL."