Scottish runner Luke Traynor has been cleared to return to athletics after having his drugs ban slashed from two years to just three months.
The Great Britain international, 27, had confessed to a “stupid and uncharacteristic mistake” after a doping test in May 2019 found he had taken cocaine.
It saw the Glaswegian suspended from all sport following a hearing last June that wiped out 13 months of results and banished him until May 2021.
But Traynor, UK Anti Doping have announced, is among seven athletes from various sports who have been given an immediate green light to resume their careers under changes to the World Anti-Doping Code that cover the use of recreational drugs when detected in out-of-competition testing and proved to be “in a context unrelated to sport performance.”
And Traynor said: “I knew the code change was coming in on January 1. But UKAD did not have to acknowledge it for past cases so it’s a nice surprise. Time to move forward.”
UKAD Chief Executive, Nicole Sapstead warned, however, that it was not a free pass for sportspeople to utilise drugs like cannabis and cocaine, despite shifting attitudes to punishing their use.
“We are utilising the changes to the Code to support athletes with issues arising from recreational drug use,” she said.
“The new Substances of Abuse sanctions and its newly introduced treatment programme will ensure that athletes’ health and wellbeing are being prioritised where there is no suggestion of the drug being used for performance enhancement. “Our message is clear. This is in no way a green-light for athletes to use these drugs socially – they are still illegal. Three months is still a notable ban from sport and covers all participation including training, which will be valuable time lost for any athlete. We will repeatedly come after athletes who continue to make the wrong choices.”