Saints axe teen star after drugs bust

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A young Saints starlet has been axed by the club and banned from rugby for two years after failing a drugs test.

Promising teenage second rower Daniel Langtree was found to have traces of cocaine in his system following an academy game at the end of last season.

Langtree, 17, who played his junior rugby for Blackbrook Royals, was believed to have been on the verge of a call-up to the senior squad at Knowsley Road after starting 14 games for the academy side last year.

His suspension was confirmed by the Rugby Football League (RFL) yesterday (Tuesday, January 6).

A Saints spokesman said: "The club 100 per cent supports the decision and hopes that it serves as a warning to other young players that the taking of so-called recreational drugs will result in them potentially losing their careers."

According to the RFL, their anti-doping strategy falls in line with the World Anti-Doping Association (WADA) code.

It states that players at all levels can be subject to random drugs tests - both during the season and throughout the close season.

Although Langtree's sample did not provide evidence of any performance-enhancing drugs, it still landed him with a lengthy ban.

A spokesperson for the RFL confirmed: "An RFL Operational Rules tribunal has suspended the player Daniel Langtree for two years after finding him guilty of breaching RFL anti-doping regulations.

"Langtree, who had previously been a member of the St Helens Academy squad, was found to have provided a sample which contained Benzoylecgonine - a metabolite of cocaine."