A JAVELIN thrower and coach has been banned from his sport for four years  after being found guilty of possessing banned substances.

Ian Burns, 35, a former member of Gateshead Harriers, has been banned from all competitions by UK Anti-Doping.

According to a statement issued by the body, Durham Police raided his home in Peterlee, County Durham, in 2011 in relation to non-doping related issues.

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They found various banned drugs in the property, which Mr Burns told officers were for his own use.

He later denied to UK Anti-Doping that the drugs were his and insisted he had told police that as he did not want to "grass" on a friend.

The National Anti-Doping Panel dismissed his new version of events as "contrived and incredible" and found him guilty of possession of multiple substances including stanozolol, testosterone and human growth hormone.

It also found him guilty of using and attempting to use substances including methandienone, stanozolol, testosterone, nandrolone, human growth hormone and tamoxifen.

Mr Burns, whose best competitive javelin throw is 69.57 metres, has also coached other athletes and in 2009 was in the hunt for a place in England’s team for the 2010 Commonwealth Games in India.

A provisional suspension put in place by UK Anti-Doping came into effect on May 19 last year.

Mr Burns is now banned from all competitions until midnight on May 19, 2016. The ruling also means his results from September 1, 2010 until August 31, 2011 have been disqualified.

Andy Parkinson, UK Anti-Doping Chief Executive, said: “Possession of banned substances is a serious offence.

“This is particularly serious in light of the fact that Mr Burns acts as a coach and personal trainer, reflected by the length of ban the independent panel chose to hand down.

“This case reiterates the fact that the rules of doping are not confined to testing and that we will continue to work with partners to ensure that clean athletes are protected.

"This case could not have come about without the help of Durham Constabulary who provided us with the necessary information to pursue an anti-doping rule violation.”

A spokesman for the group said the time limit for Mr Burns to make an appeal against its ruling had passed.

Neither Mr Burns nor Gateshead Harriers could be contacted for comment today. (January 2)