British shot putter given 4-year doping ban

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LONDON (AP) -- British shot putter Carl Fletcher has been handed a four-year ban for trafficking in doping substances.

The sanction was announced Monday by Britain's national anti-doping agency after Fletcher was sentenced to nine months in jail for drug trafficking.

Fletcher was convicted at Liverpool Crown Court of offenses including the supply of anabolic steroids such as testosterone and human growth hormone.

UK Anti-Doping says its intelligence unit worked closely with police in Liverpool and the Serious Organized Crime Agency, leading to Britain's "first trafficking violation."

Fletcher's ban was backdated to Nov. 8 so he will be eligible to return to competition on Nov. 7, 2015.

UK Anti-Doping chief executive Andy Parkinson says the case "proves the invaluable role that law-enforcement agencies have in the fight against doping."