UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) has today confirmed that striker Carl Lamb has been suspended from all sport for two years following an anti-doping rule violation.
Lamb tested positive for a metabolite of a prohibited substance, namely benzoylecgonine (a metabolite of cocaine), after playing for Rhyl in a 1-3 defeat at the hands of Newtown in December last year.
"All athletes adhere to the principle of strict liability," says UKAD chief executive Nicole Sapstead. "No matter what the circumstances, they are solely responsible for any prohibited substance found in their system.
"Whilst the principle of this can be challenging for any athlete, they must be aware of the risks to their career if they test positive. It is essential that athletes, as well as family, friends, coaches and athlete support personnel, understand both the anti-doping rules and their responsibilities in order to manage that risk at all times."
Lamb, who was suspended by the FAW after the failed test, is banned from all sport until 9 December 2018.
Now aged 32, Lamb joined Bangor from Cammell Laird at the beginning of March 2005 and scored on his debut at Welshpool Town. After transferring to Cefn Druids in the 2006 close season, his contract was terminated by mutual consent in early December and he signed for The New Saints in January 2007, but was released in April 2008 and joined Blue Square North outfit Droylsden.
Released in August 2009, Lamb returned to the Welsh Premier with Welshpool but left for Witton Albion in November. He made a return to the Welsh Premier with Aberystwyth Town in January 2012 but stayed only a few weeks before joining Buckley Town.
After a spell in Australia, Lamb made a surprise switch to the Football League with Chesterfield in September 2014 but did not make a first team appearance and joined Alfreton Town before joining Rhyl in January 2015, where he was released at the end of the season.
He signed for Aberystwyth again in July 2016, but was released before the season started and rejoined Rhyl in August, completing a total of 87 (+35) appearances and scoring 33 goals.
It is the second time that Rhyl have been involved in a drugs case as striker Andy Moran was stripped of his Golden Boot award in 2004 and suspended for eight months after also testing positive for a banned substance.
A statement from Belle Vue says: "Within the decision UKAD accepts that the substance was taken out of competition, in a context unrelated to sports performance.
"As a consequence UK Anti-Doping has confirmed that the period of suspension has been reduced from four years to two years following the explanation from Carl Lamb around the circumstances of the violation."