Skip to content

Drug Free Sport New Zealand v Kelsey Kennard


Anti-doping – football player (K) tested positive for prohibited substance probenecid in sample taken from her after National Women’s League (NWL) game – provisionally suspended without opposition – admitted violation of Sports Anti-Doping Rules 2015 (SADR) Rule 2.1 – said positive test due to urgent protocol treatment for cellulitis at a time when she was not intending to play football – did not turn her mind to disclosing to doctor that she was an athlete subject to the anti-doping rules – shortly after persuaded to play football and commenced training for NWL – attended Drug Free Sport New Zealand (DFS) seminar as part of the NWL team and within a fortnight of the treatment for cellulitis – given booklet and wallet card containing information about common medications that may be prohibited including the use of probenecid with antibiotics – did not turn her mind to inquiring about cellulitis treatment at or following seminar – searched DFS website to check if iron medication she was taking was a prohibited substance – at time of testing disclosed iron medication taken in past seven days but not probenecid given length of time since treatment for cellulitis – no issue as to how probenecid entered her system – no issue that unintentional use of specified substance – standard period of ineligibility for unintentional use of specified substance was two years under SADR Rule 10.2.2 – whether K could establish no significant fault or negligence in seeking a reduction of the two year period under SADR Rule – new threshold under 2015 WADA Code – Tribunal satisfied no significant fault or negligence – exceptional circumstances including emergency nature of treatment and therapeutic use of substance – not intending to play in NWL at time of treatment – low perception of risk of rule violation – length of time probenecid remained in her system – change in status from non-national level athlete to national level athlete – Tribunal went on to assess appropriate sanction having regard to degree of fault – looked at three occasions where K may have been at fault namely time of treatment, at DFS seminar, and at time of testing – doctors’ visits are situations of heightened risk for athletes – failure to make inquiries about cellulitis treatment at or following DFS seminar fell below the standard of what a reasonable athlete in her position should have done – non-disclosure of cellulitis medication on doping control form at time of testing excusable given length of time since treatment – strict obligations on athletes under the Code – Tribunal decided appropriate period of ineligibility was 6 months – Tribunal exercised discretion to start period of ineligibility from the date of sample collection given prompt admission under SADR Rule 10.11.2 – athlete needs to serve at least one-half of the period of ineligibility from date of decision.

Back To Top