Webb Bannes for four years by French Anti-Doping Agency

Former Wales scrum-half Rhys Webb has been banned for four years by the French Anti-Doping Agency ((AFLD).

Webb was suspended soon after joining second tier French side Biarritz last summer after returning a positive test for human growth hormone (HGH) during a training session.

Both A and B samples came back positive.

Webb will now be ineligible to play until 2027, meaning he will be 38 by the time the ban runs it course.

He has since posted a statement on behalf of his lawyer on social media.

"The sanction imposed on Rhys Webb is not final, and we have immediately instructed a lawyer at the Conseil d’Etat to lodge an appeal to overturn the AFLD’s decision," it said.

"In the meantime, Rhys wishes to reaffirm his innocence, pointing out that he has never undergone any other disciplinary procedure, of any kind, during his long career as a professional athlete and has never used any doping product, growth hormone in particular."

The statement goes on to point out what they believe are "incompetencies" in the AFDL’s testing process.

Webb began his professional career with Ospreys in 2007 and made 154 appearances before joining French giants Toulon in 2018.

The move away from Wales saw him become the highest profile victim of the Welsh Rugby Union's previous 60-cap rule.

Webb left his second season at Toulon early after agreeing to re-join Ospreys in December 2019 and went on to surpass 200 appearances for the Welsh region.

Webb's Wales debut came in 2012 and he made 40 appearances before announcing his international retirement in the build-up to the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

He was also selected for the 2017 British and Irish Lions tour to New Zealand, playing in two Tests.