Hull Kingston Rovers have confirmed that centre Thomas Minns has failed a drugs test.
Minns tested positive for a banned substance during the Robins’ recent defeat to Huddersfield – but the club and player insisted in a statement on Wednesday night it was a ‘non-performance enhancing’ substance.
Minns admitted in that statement he had let people down and accepts his career is in jeopardy as he stares at a probable suspension from the game – but is hopeful his mitigating circumstances, including the death of his mother last year, will be heard.
“I want to personally apologise to everyone involved who I have let down and disappointed,” he said.
“I admit to taking a banned substance on Mothers’ Day 2018, which was a hugely difficult day for me following the passing of my mother last year.
“I was low and depressed on the day and I felt at the time I needed to do it to get through. I now totally accept that it was huge mistake which could cost me my career.
“I can now only ask for forgiveness and for my arguments of mitigation to be heard and understood.
“I do not wish for sympathy. All I ask is that I am listened to and I can make everyone aware that I did not take this substance to enhance my performance at rugby in anyway.”
And, in the statement made by the club, their chief executive, Mike Smith, said: “We can confirm that Thomas Minns failed a drugs test following our match at Huddersfield Giants in March, having tested positive for a banned, non-performance enhancing substance.
“Whilst we are obviously disappointed by this as a club, we feel it is very important to stress that this is not just a difficult time for Hull Kingston Rovers, but also for Thomas himself.
“Thomas has expressed his regret and spoken of how he has found life away from the sport of rugby challenging in recent times, particularly since the tragic passing of his mother last year.
“Thomas has been a much valued member of the Robins squad and is a well-liked young man by all at the club. These are obviously difficult times.
“Following discussions with him since failing the test, we are clear that our priority and focus at this time must be to offer him our support.
“As yet Thomas has not been suspended by the club, but has been given an extended period of leave. He will plead guilty to the offence and ask for a hearing to mitigate his penalty.
“We will be speaking to the relevant bodies and the RFL about how we can now best support Thomas at this time. Any decisions over his playing future will be considered at a later stage and are not a matter for now.
“As a club, Hull Kingston Rovers prides itself of the unity of its playing staff and our commitment to player welfare. That is why our priority at present is to ensure Thomas is provided with the support he needs.”