Former Bath lock Justin Harrison was last night suspended for eight months after admitting three drug-related charges, including taking cocaine.
Harrison was banned by Rugby Football Union disciplinary officer Judge Jeff Blackett for "actions which are prejudicial to the interests of the game".
The 35-year-old admitted taking cocaine during an end-of-season celebration in London on May 10 and that he subsequently missed a drugs test.
Harrison also pleaded guilty to shouting "Class A, it’s OK, everyone’s doing it" in front of some Bath academy players while on the bus trip to London.
The suspension was back-dated to May 14, the day Harrison resigned from Bath, and he is banned from playing and coaching rugby until January 13, 2010.
Judge Blackett ruled: "There is no doubt that the player was stupid to risk his reputation and future career in what was effectively a few moments of madness caused by having drunk too much alcohol so that he lost his inhibitions.
"However, I accept that he is an honest man and believe his account of what occurred. This stain on his character will go with him for the rest of his life, and that in itself is a significant penalty for a man of such high reputation."
Harrison explained that joking about drug-taking had become commonplace at Bath following Matt Stevens’ two-year suspension for taking cocaine, which he said had "rocked" the club earlier this year.
Three of Harrison's former Bath team-mates - Michael Lipman, Alex Crockett and Andrew Higgins - face similar charges at an RFU hearing later this month. All three deny any wrongdoing.
Harrison told the hearing he was not with any other Bath players when he accepted the offer of drugs in a London pub and the RFU accepted he had acted "in isolation" and that he was not seeking to protect anyone else.
Two days after the London celebrations, Harrison was informed by Bath team manager Dave Guyan that he had been implicated in allegations of drug-taking and that he would be required to provide a sample for testing.
Harrison was ordered to the club on May 13 but did not show up and the following morning offered his resignation in a meeting with Bath chief executive Bob Calleja "because it was the honourable thing to do". Harrison had one year to run on his contract.
Judge Blackett credited an "extremely contrite" Harrison for travelling from Australia to London for the hearing and for pleading guilty.
Those factors persuaded Blackett to commute Harrison's possible sentence from 12 months to eight months.