Cheshire Jets forward Matt Schneck faces a two-year ban after failing a drugs test following a routine sample taking by UK Anti-Doping.

The American was found to have traces of a prohibited substance known as Methylhexaneamine in his system and has already been suspended.

The news is likely to embarrass the club which has already had two other players, James Hamilton and John Simpson, fall foul of doping tests in the past 12 months.

Jets officials had originally claimed that Schneck had missed two games last weekend due to injury after the result of the sample, taken following their BBL game against Leicester last month, was revealed.

But they have backed the 22-year-old who is insisting that he unknowingly used a supplement which contained MHA.

“I am incredibly embarrassed at my own ignorance and for putting my team-mates in the difficult situation of having to adjust mid-season,” he said.

“I know they are more than capable of doing so and will continue to perform at high levels. This experience is something which I would have never knowingly jeopardised.

“I have the utmost respect for clean athletics and will be entirely open throughout the whole process. Aside from the embarrassment this honest mistake may cause my family, there is nothing pains me further than being unable to play the game which I have a passion for in front of the Jets community.”

The substance is the same which saw South African rugby union internationals Chiliboy Ralepelle and Bjorn Basson suspended last week.

But it is unlikely that Schneck will escape a extended ban despite his pleas of innocence – leaving the league leaders to look for a replacement.

‘This is really sad news for all concerned,” said Peter Hawkins, Director of Cheshire Jets.

“We will of course work closely with UKAD to allow them to investigate the issue fully. We have spoken at length with Matt and are completely satisfied that the banned substance entered his system in ignorance.”

He added: “It is absolute credit to Matt that he has immediately accepted responsibility and specifically asked that we make the matter publically known as soon as possible. We will fully support Matt through the process ensuring he receives the best possible advice.

“There is a standard period of 2 years ineligibility as a result of MHA being found in an athlete’s system. This may however be reduced to anything between a warning with no ineligibility to a 2 year ban depending on a number of factors which will be established by UKAD over the next few weeks.”

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