Updated: Friday, 17th November 2017 @ 12:59pm

Disgraced rugby league star Martin Gleeson wants to ‘finish career on a high’ at Salford City Reds

Disgraced rugby league star Martin Gleeson wants to ‘finish career on a high’ at Salford City Reds

By Mark Shales

Disgraced rugby league star Martin Gleeson has talked about his doping ban for the first time, after returning to the sport with Salford City Reds.

The Wigan-born former England international was handed an 18-month ban in December 2011 after testing positive for illegal substance methylhexaneamine, while playing for Hull FC.

But after taking to the Salford pitch on a trial period in Sunday’s friendly win over Leigh, the centre has finally opened up.

"I had not spoken to anyone in the rugby world and never looked for anything until Salford had a chat”, he told the Daily Star.

"I was a bit bitter at first and did not want anything to do with it but time is a healer and I thought I'd be stupid not to.

“Since December, when I started training with Salford, I've enjoyed it and had a smile on my face.

“It's been really good compared to what I have been through in the last couple of years."

The Reds cannot purchase any new players until the financial situation is resolved, but with a buyer seemingly lined up, Gleeson is expected to rebuild his career in the North West.

The 32-year-old was one of a number of Hull players taking the banned stimulant in a supplement supplied by the club’s conditioner Ben Cooper, unaware it was illegal.

Cooper, Hull chief executive James Rule and Gleeson – the only player testing positive – were all banned from the game following a six-month investigation by UK Anti-Doping (UKAD).

“People obviously did not do their jobs right and the worse thing was what happened after,” he added.

“I have not spoken about it before because it did my head in. I was not happy but I have done my time and I'm now back and in better nick than I've ever been.

"It has been tough and I was gutted how it happened but I don't think I've got anything to prove and now I just want to finish my career on a high.”

Picture courtesy of Salford City Reds via Facebook, with thanks

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