It is with great disappointment that the Plymouth Raiders have to announce the release of Neil Watson, Jawad Adekoya and Kinu Rochford for breach of the club rules relating to the use of banned substances.
As part of the club takeover in the summer, we have taken a detailed review of all club policies, including those relating to anti-doping, and have implemented a number of proactive procedures to ensure players are fully briefed on the use of banned substances, both performance enhancing, and recreational, and as part of this procedure change we have implemented proactive testing, with 30 days’ notice provided, as a further deterrent.
Plymouth Raiders Director, Richard Mollard said, “There is quite simply no place for drugs in sport, whether that be recreational or performance enhancing, and Ross and I were adamant that we would not tolerate any form of substance use by a Plymouth Raiders player under our watch, regardless of who they are.
“They knew the rules and chose to ignore them. Being a professional sportsman is more than just the performance on game days, it’s about being the whole athlete, upholding the highest professional standard in your daily life, one that reflects the strong, ethical, family morals that is needed to be a role model in today’s sports environment.
“Ross and I are bitterly disappointed in Neil, Kinu and Jawad, and I can only hope they learn from this situation and come back stronger for it. All three are good individuals, but they have not only let themselves down, but also the club, their team mates, the fans and sponsors, and that is not something we can stand for.”
Head Coach Gavin Love added, “Obviously I’m very disappointed in the players involved but I fully support the decision of the club on such an important matter.
“With three key players departing there will now be opportunities for our younger players to really step up and show us what they can do. I’m sure this will be a great experience for these guys and will benefit us as a club moving forward.”
Watson, Rochford and Adekoya issued the following statement, “We’d like to take this opportunity to apologise to the club, our team mates, sponsors and fans, for any wrongdoings.
All three players have been provided details of external professional expertise should they wish to seek advice, support or assistance independently.