LONDON, February 22, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- In a major breakthrough in the international fight against doping in sport, UK Anti-Doping today announced the first case of human growth hormone (hGH)* resulting in an athlete sanction.

Wakefield Trinity Wildcats player Terry Newton has accepted a 2-year sanction for the presence of hGH in a blood sample that was collected during out-of-competition target testing on 24 November 2009. He accepted the charge uncontested on Friday 19 February 2010.

UK Anti-Doping Chief Executive, Andy Parkinson, said, This is a landmark in the fight against doping. It is the world-first analytical positive for hGH, a substance that has previously gone undetected because it leaves the system fairly quickly after administration.

Advancements in technology to detect and analyse the presence of prohibited substances, together with UK Anti-Doping's increased power in intelligence and results management, have significantly increased the likelihood that athletes who use performance-enhancing substances will get caught.

Mr Parkinson said, This positive finding was a combination of intelligence, target testing and a strong partnership with the anti-doping scientific community and the RFL. Athletes using hGH should take Newton's experience as a stern warning - if you use hGH you will not get away with it.

UK Anti-Doping and King's College London Drug Control Centre worked closely with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) throughout the sample-analysis process.

WADA Director General, David Howman, said, This first completed case involving an analytical finding for hGH is a positive step in the global fight against doping in sport. It sends a strong message to those athletes who take the risk to misuse hGH that we will ultimately catch them.

Most WADA-accredited laboratories can now test for hGH, including the King's College London Drug Control Centre in the UK.

King's College London Drug Control Centre Director, Professor David Cowan, said, This is an exciting major breakthrough that has been the result of many years of careful research with WADA. The detection of substances that are virtually identical to our natural hormones has always represented a challenge. This shows how science has closed an important gap and further enhances our ability to deter the cheating athlete to ensure the integrity of sport and promote healthy competition.

Mr Newton will be ineligible to play, coach or otherwise participate in any World Anti-Doping Code-compliant sport until 23 November 2011.

The full decision will be available on the UK Anti-Doping website at from midday today.

*Human growth hormone (hGH) is synthesized and secreted by cells in the pituitary gland located at the base of the brain. It is known to act on many aspects of cellular metabolism and is also necessary for skeletal growth in humans. The major role of hGH in body growth is to stimulate the liver and other tissues to secrete insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1). This stimulates production of cartilage cells, resulting in bone growth and also plays a key role in muscle and organ growth. HGH is a prohibited substance (category S2.2: Hormones and Related Substances) under WADA's 2009 List of Prohibited Substances.

Notes to Editors:

UK Anti-Doping

UK Anti-Doping is UK Anti-Doping is the National Anti-Doping Organisation for the UK, with responsibility for ensuring sports bodies in the UK are compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code through implementation and management of the UK's National Anti-Doping Policy. Its functions include an education and information programme, athlete testing across more than 40 sports, intelligence management and exclusive results management authority for the determination of anti-doping rule violations. Accountable to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), UK Anti-Doping has a very clear remit in anti-doping in the UK and plays a lead role in the fight against doping in sport.

King's College London Drug Control Centre

The King's College London Drug Control Centre was established in 1978 with the support of the former Sports Council, now UK Sport, to analyse samples collected from human sports competitors. There are only 35 accredited anti-doping laboratories in the world; the King's laboratory is the only one in the UK.

World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)

WADA was established in 1999 as an international independent agency composed and funded equally by the sport movement and governments of the world. Its key activities include scientific research, education, development of anti-doping capacities, and monitoring of the World Anti Doping Code (Code) - the document harmonizing anti-doping policies in all sports and all countries. WADA is a Swiss private law Foundation. Its seat is in Lausanne, Switzerland, and its headquarters are in Montreal, Canada.

SOURCE: UK Anti-Doping

CONTACT: For media information contact: Caroline Hale, T:+44(0)7553-370024