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Drug Free Sport New Zealand v Corey Webster


Anti-doping – cannabis – NZ basketball representative testing positive at NBL game – athlete admitted violation – Tribunal accepted evidence cannabis not taken for sports performance enhancing purposes but used with a friend in time of personal stress – relevant criterion under rules is athlete’s degree of fault – athlete, and his team, have taken laudable steps since the violation but these do not have direct bearing on his degree of fault – that he is international athlete did not assist his cause as arguably greater responsibility on international athlete to comply with anti-doping requirements – Tribunal took into account that athlete under personal stress during the time of use as relevant to fault but took view not a major consideration – athlete knowingly used cannabis two days before important match when previously educated in, and well aware of, anti-doping rules and Basketball New Zealand’s commitment to them – this means he must accept a reasonable degree of fault – appropriate sanction in the circumstances was two months’ ineligibility commencing from date of provisional suspension on 23 June 2010. Tribunal noted it had recently reviewed its approach to sanctions for cannabis violations – Tribunal will soon formally notify NSOs and members that starting point for cannabis violations will be increased to four months’ suspension before taking into account aggravating and mitigating factors – does not apply to this case but will apply to future cannabis cases occurring after the notification has taken place.

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