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Drug Free Sport New Zealand v Quentin Gardiner


Anti-doping – touch player (G) tested positive for prohibited substance methylhexaneamine (aka 1, 3 dimethylpentylamine) in sample taken from him after competing in the Touch Nationals final – admitted violation and said positive test due to him taking one or both of two supplements – he listed both products on his doping control testing form – he gave evidence that both historically contained methylhexaneamine but they no longer do – said he took one supplement during the Touch Nationals competition and the other the day before the competition, 3 days before testing – contended supplements used must have come from an old batch – Tribunal satisfied methylhexaneamine entered G’s system through consumption of either or both supplements coming from an out-of-date batch. Whether significant fault – under the new 2015 Sports Anti-Doping Rules, penalty for a violation involving this substance was 2 years’ suspension unless G could show no significant fault – G said he had no significant fault as: he didn’t recall receiving any anti-doping education and there was no record of him attending such a seminar; he was previously told by supplement suppliers that both supplements did not contain any banned substances; gym members and team members had told him one of the supplements was safe to use; and he had checked an earlier container and sachet of both products and hadn’t see any warning they contained banned substances – Tribunal found G had established no significant fault and eligible for a penalty less than 2 years’ suspension. Sanction and degree of fault – in deciding appropriate penalty, the Tribunal had to assess G’s degree of fault – Tribunal referred to unusual circumstances that G had checked earlier labels of the same product, which did not note any prohibited substance or give a warning – current stock of the product appears to not contain any prohibited substances -G has been caught by what appears to be old stock – Tribunal stated Mr Gardiner’s fault was at the higher end of the scale as he: did not examine the labels of the products he actually took; sourced the supplements at a discounted rate from a friend, rather than through a reputable supplier; did not conduct any internet searches in respect of the products; did not contact Drug Free Sport New Zealand (DFS) in respect of the products; and used the supplements immediately before and during competition – Counsel for DFS and G jointly submitted 15 months’ suspension was appropriate in circumstances and context of the recent rule changes and the Tribunal agreed – Tribunal suspended G for 15 months, commencing from 8 March 2015 (the date of sample collection) in light of his co-operation.

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