FORMER Dunfermline midfielder Conner Duthie has been banned from all sport for two years after testing positive for cannabis.

The 23-year-old, who was with the East End Park club for just over two years, provided an in-competition urine sample after playing for his last club, Stenhousemuir, against Stranraer on March 16 last year.

Analysis of the sample provided by Duthie following the League One match returned an 'Adverse Analytical Finding' (AAF) for carboxy-THC, a metabolite Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive compound found in cannabis.

According to UK Anti-Doping (UKAD), the independent witness in the case considered that the sample analysis was in accord with cannabis ingestion that took place out-of-competition, which meant the applicable ban was for two years.

Duthie was charged with violating the Scottish Football Association anti-doping regulation article 2.1, which covers the "presence of a prohibited substance or its metabolites or markers in a player's sample".

Pat Myhill, UKAD director of operations, commented: "Cannabis is prohibited in sport due to the various psychological and physiological effects it can have on athletes.

"Whilst its use out-of-competition is not prohibited in sport, it is prohibited if found in a sample given in-competition. As the substance can remain in an athlete's system for a long time, this case shows that there is a very real risk of a ban from the sport if you choose to use this substance, even outside of competing.

"Athletes are solely responsible for what is in their system, regardless of how they claim it got there, and whether there was an intention to cheat or not.

"Our message to athletes is clear; it is not worth the risk."

After beginning his professional career at Hibernian, Duthie joined the Pars in March 2016 - initially until the end of the League One title winning campaign - after impressing during a training spell with the club.

He made his debut in a 2-2 draw with Forfar Athletic the following month and, after five further top team appearances, was loaned out to Stenhousemuir in January 2017.

Duthie returned to the Athletic for the beginning of the 2017/18 campaign but, after one appearance - against Arbroath in the Challenge Cup, in which he was red-carded - he joined Forfar on loan before being released in May 2018.

He re-joined the Warriors and, in his second spell at Ochilview, played 38 times, scoring three goals.

THC is listed under section S8 (Cannabinoid) of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) 2019 prohibited list, and its presence in a sample is banned in-competition only.

UKAD added that, in acknowledging Duthie's "timely admission of the ADRV (Anti-Doping Rule Violation)", his ban was backdated to March 16 2019, and will end on March 15 2021.