Hopley reveals Stevens shock
Doping 'very out of character' according to PRA chief
Last Updated: 20/01/09 7:05pm
Professional Rugby Players Association CEO Damian Hopley admits he is 'shocked' by the news that England prop Matt Stevens has failed a drugs test.
Stevens, who has 32 caps for England, admitted to Sky Sports News that he has a doping addiction, and has been suspended from all rugby as a result.
The Bath player had been due to fly to Portugal with the England team on Sunday as they prepare for the upcoming 2009 Six Nations Championship.
However, after failing a drugs test following Bath's Heineken Cup match against Glasgow Warriors in December 2008, Stevens has now revealed his addiction to an unnamed social drug.
"We are shocked by this news, which is very out of character for Matt," said Hopley.
"He had built a reputation as a fine ambassador for the game, who does a tremendous amount of voluntary work for a number of charities and good causes.
"We will be doing everything we can to provide Matt with the support he needs at this very difficult time.
"The PRA and our members strongly condemn the use of performance enhancing or recreational drugs, and fully support the RFU and IRB anti-doping regulations."