DOUBLE Commonwealth hammer medallist Mark Dry has said he is “heartbroken” at being handed a four-year ban from the sport and the decision against him “offends fairness and justice”.

The 32-year-old, who won bronze at both Glasgow 2014 and Gold Coast 2018, has been banned for four years after UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) won an appeal claiming he had “lied” to “subvert the anti-doping process”.

Dry missed a doping test after not being present at the address he said he would be on his ‘whereabouts’ form. He admitted wrongfully saying he had gone fishing on the day of his missed test.

Dry was suspended but was then cleared by the Sport Resolutions Panel when they ruled there had been no subversion of the doping control process despite agreeing Dry had provided false information on his ‘whereabouts’ form.

However, UKAD released official confirmation yesterday that they have won their appeal and so Dry is suspended for four years, with no avenue for further appeals.

The Scottish and GB internationalist called the decision “overtly wrong”, pointing out that had he done nothing rather than admit his mistake, he would have avoided any punishment. He has vowed to continue fighting his case.

In a statement on Twitter, Dry pointed out how the initial panel had concluded it would be “grossly disproportionate and unfair” to ban him for four years after he explained what had happened.

“I simply cannot understand how a different panel would arrive at a four-year ban conclusion, given that the court of arbitration for sport clearly indicate that the misinformation I provided does not amount to tampering,” he said.

He then asks: “How can they equate me with someone who injects steroids or someone who consistently lies and tries to obstruct authorities? Other athletes lie publicly, they change their stories and they are ok to continue with the sport? Why are they persecuting me in this manner?”

Dry went on to say he has been “a lifelong fighter of doping” and that he has “cooperated fully from the start and have admitted my fault but the punishment does not even remotely fit the crime.

“This decision is unfair and wrong. I am innocent and I will continue fighting to clear my name.”

The UKAD deputy director of legal and regulatory affairs, Stacey Cross, said: “This case is a very clear example that athletes must conduct themselves with honesty during the anti-doping process, and what is at risk if they don’t.

“It is UKAD’s role to uphold the anti-doping rules, which apply to all athletes, and there are very strict sanctions for anyone who deliberately interferes with or tries to obstruct the anti-doping process.”

And Scottish Athletics chief executive, Mark Munro, said

"Scottish Athletics have a zero tolerance approach in these matter and recognise the severity of the issue.

"We’re aware of our duty of care responsibilities towards all athletes and coaches and are in contact with Mark to help ensure lessons are learned."