Premier League youngster handed nine-month ban for violating anti-doping rule

(Reuters) - A 16-year-old Premier League footballer has been handed a nine-month ban from the sport after the player breached an anti-doping rule for possession of a banned substance, England's Football Association said on Wednesday.

The player, whose age and club has been redacted from the report, was found in possession of a "pen-type dispenser" containing growth hormone somatropin when he was 15 years old.

The player had also been charged for using the growth hormone but an independent regulatory commission found that claim to be unproven and applied a back-dated nine-month suspension that will conclude on May 7.

"Athletes, their parents and the teams they play for, all have a role to play in helping to keep sport clean," UK Anti-Doping director of operations Pat Myhill said in a statement.

"This case demonstrates that the anti-doping rules apply to all athletes, regardless of age, and serves as an important reminder of the serious consequences that can apply if those rules are broken.

"If you are responsible for a young athlete, you should take a proactive approach to ensure their participation in clean sport and help to protect them from the risks of doping."

(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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