Rugby League World Cup: England wheelchair star Wayne Boardman cleared to play in World Cup after serving doping ban

England wheelchair international Wayne Boardman has been cleared to play in the World Cup after serving a 13-month doping ban.

Boardman, one of the mainstays of wheelchair rugby league, tested positive for oxandrolone, an anabolic androgenic steroid which is on the World Anti-Doping Agency prohibited list, after an international against Wales in June 2021.

He was provisionally suspended by UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) and therefore missed the games against France last winter, but the ban was lifted after it was ruled he had acted with “no fault or negligence”.

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UKAD appealed that verdict in July and the Court of Arbitration for Sport found him guilty of a lesser offence and imposed a 13-month ban.

A statement said: “UK Anti-Doping can confirm that following proceedings before the Court of Arbitration for Sport, wheelchair rugby league player Wayne Boardman has received a 13-month ban from sport following a first anti-doping rule violation after the detection of a prohibited substance in his urine sample.

“Mr Boardman’s ban is deemed to have commenced on 26 June 2021 and he is therefore free to participate in sport at the time of this announcement.”

The wheelchair tournament starts on November 3 at the Copper Box Arena in London, where Spain and Ireland get proceedings under way before England take on Australia in the second part of the double header.