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Drug Free Sport New Zealand v Dawn Chalmers


Anti-doping – furosemide – boxer tested positive after winning NZ championship – took furosemide prescribed by her doctor for medical condition – doctor mistakenly advised her (also mistakenly confirmed by pharmacist) not to use furosemide “close to” or “around competition” when in fact it is prohibited substance not to be taken in or out of competition – athlete took no further steps to check or clarify this advice – furosemide reduces fluid retention and can reduce weight and potentially have performance enhancing consequences for a boxer trying to fit into a weight division – however Tribunal accepted athlete did not take it to enhance performance but to treat medical condition and penalty less than 2 years’ suspension was available – senior athlete who received appropriate drug education and had responsibility to further check status of prescribed medication – while had been given mistaken advice by doctor she had been explicitly alerted it shouldn’t be taken close to or around competition but did nothing to clarify what this meant – Tribunal took into account her openness, prompt admission of fault, that she knew likely to be tested if won and that received mistaken advice from doctor and pharmacist – however, this case more serious than previous Tribunal cases where prohibited medication mistakenly prescribed – this because of her explicit knowledge that there was an issue with furosemide and her failure to clarify the position – 3 months’ ineligibility from hearing date of 17 February 2010 imposed (effectively 5 months’ suspension taking into account 2 months that she had been provisionally suspended before hearing).

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