Former Peterborough defender Josh Yorwerth has been banned for four years for missing an anti-doping test having taken cocaine.
The 24-year-old was suspended at a Football Association hearing, after admitting to using the drug in an FA interview on October 12 last year.
“Joshua Yorwerth has been suspended from all football and football-related activity for a period of four years, which was effective from 3 October 2018 and will remain until 2 October 2022,” read a statement from the FA.
“The former Peterborough United player admitted evading sample collection or, without compelling justification, refused or failed to submit to sample collection following notification by an anti-doping official.
“The defender was also warned as to his future conduct and will be subject to target testing for the duration of his suspension.”
Peterborough terminated Yorwerth’s contract last month; they had signed him from Crawley last summer.
It was on September 25 when he did not answer the door to testers despite being home, an action he revealed had been deliberate owing to his belief he risked a two-year suspension – it would actually have been a maximum of three months.
The regulatory commission for the hearing that took place on February 19 but was made public on Wednesday expressed a concern that Yorwerth is not alone among professionals in having a “flimsy understanding” of the rules.
“It is a player’s personal responsibility to be aware of all applicable anti-doping policies and rules and regulations,” the commission stated in its observations. “Our concern is that Mr Yorwerth’s flimsy understanding of this important area may well be typical among young footballers.
“Based on the experience of the members of this regulatory commission, we strongly suspect that it is.”
Yorwerth has the right to appeal against the suspension.