Armitage cleared over positive drugs test

Toulon's England flanker Steffon Armitage, who tested positive for morphine five months ago, was on Thursday cleared of any wrongdoing by the French Rugby Federation's appeals commission, the club reported.

The 26-year-old failed a control for the banned substance after the French Top 14 final which Toulon lost 18-12 against Toulouse on June 9.

The club always maintained the test showed an "abnormal" result as a side-effect of painkillers and anti-inflammatories which Toulon's medical staff had prescribed Armitage for back pain.

Toulon argued that the products were approved by the French Anti-Doping Agency (AFLD).

Armitage, who has five caps to his name for England, has been free to play since the beginning of the season, but was not included in the England squad for the upcoming series of autumn tests.

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