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Anti-doping proceedings will usually be brought by Drug Free Sport New Zealand when they consider that there is sufficient information or evidence that an anti-doping violation has taken place.

For example, this may be on the basis of an athlete returning a positive drug test result or refusing to provide a sample for drug testing. Proceedings may also be brought on the basis of evidence supporting other alleged anti-doping violations such as use, attempted use, posession or trafficking of prohibited substances.

The organisation bringing the proceedings is referred to as ‘the applicant’ and the athlete or other person alleged to have committed the offence is known as the ‘respondent’.

The Tribunal has the jurisdiction to decide whether an anti-doping violation has been committed and to decide the appropriate penalty for such a violation.

If an athlete returns an adverse finding (such as testing positive to a prohibited substance), there will usually be an application to the Tribunal to have a preliminary hearing to have the athlete provisionally suspended. The Tribunal usually hears provisional suspension applications urgently. If the Tribunal makes a provisional suspension order, this means the athlete is prohibited in participating in sport until the Tribunal can hear the alleged anti-doping matter and make a final decision.

If the NSO has adopted the Sports Anti-Doping Rules as its anti-doping policy, Drug Free Sport will be the body that applies to have the athlete provisionally suspended.

Steps in anti-doping proceedings

1. If applicable, Drug Free Sport makes an Application for Provisional Suspension to the Tribunal. Drug Free Sport:

The Tribunal may need to hold urgent proceedings to deal with this issue.

2. The applicant (usually Drug Free Sport):

  • files the Application for Anti-Doping Rule Violation Proceedings (Form 1) (PDF), accompanied by supporting documentation, with the Tribunal and
  • serves a copy of the Form 1 Application and documents on the respondent
  • serves a copy of the Form 1 Application and documents on the NSO

3. The Registrar acknowledges receipt of the application and advises the Tribunal that anti-doping proceedings have been commenced.

4. The respondent has 7 working days from receiving the Form 1 Application to respond.

The respondent:

  • files a Notice of Defence (Form 2) (PDF) with the Tribunal and
  • serves a copy on the applicant
  • serves a copy on the NSO.

This lets the Tribunal, the applicant and the NSO know whether the respondent wishes to:

  • deny and defend that he or she committed an anti-doping violation
  • admit that he or she committed an anti-doping violation but request that he or she be given the opportunity to make submissions on what penalty they should receive or
  • admit that he or she committed the violation and advise that he or she does not want to participate in a hearing but acknowledges that the Tribunal may impose a penalty.

5. If the respondent does not file the statement of defence within this time he or she is deemed to have waived their right to participate in a hearing.

6. The Tribunal may hold a pre-hearing conference to discuss what needs to be done leading up to the hearing.

7. Any further evidence or submissions, as required by the Tribunal, are provided before the hearing.

8. The hearing is held.

9. The Tribunal determines the proceedings, and decides any penalties or sanctions.

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