Three New Zealand club rugby players have been handed bans from the sport, each found guilty of doping by the New Zealand Rugby Judicial Committee.

Blake Ensor of Otago, Conor Hirini of Horowhenua Kapiti and Bay of Plenty’s Heywood Kuka were all charged following a MedSafe investigation, having taken banned substances in 2014 and 2015.

Ensor admitted to seven violations, ranging from possession and use of Metandienone and Clenbuterol in 2014, to possession of Metandienone and Tamoxifen in 2015.

However, Ensor’s violations were deemed to be unintentional, with the player having not received anti-doping education as a club player, with the standard four-year suspension period halved in his case.

Hirini has also been handed a two-year suspension, also having purchased Clenbuterol in 2014, telling the judiciary that he had disposed of the banned substance without using it.

Kuka was charged on four counts, handed a three-year suspension and given a reduced ban due to his admission of guilt.

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