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Drug Free Sport New Zealand v Kyle Reuben


Anti-doping – rugby league player refusing or failing to provide a sample – initially provided an insufficient sample – asked chaperone about possible repercussions for cannabis use – subsequently told chaperone that not prepared to wait to pass a further sample and would accept the consequences – chaperone reported he advised consequences of leaving but athlete walked off without completing test – athlete admitted violation – stated put family commitments first and had wanted to do the test as quickly as possible to get ride with brother and make sure he got home in time to collect child from babysitter – also stated told chaperone of social cannabis use and while he knew that first time cannabis offenders may get suspended for a few months, he did not realise that he could get suspended for two years for refusing to provide a sample – not a case of no significant fault or negligence – chose to walk away from the chaperone and not complete the test – his justification for doing this falls well short of “exceptional circumstances” test for no significant fault/negligence – Tribunal found chaperone had warned athlete that would face 2 years’ if walked away – athlete may have been confused and thought if he acknowledged taking cannabis he would get a similar penalty as athletes who test positive for cannabis – however, he was mistaken if thought this – fact that an athlete may have smoked cannabis has no relevance to the penalty applied when the athlete refuses to complete a test – 2 years’ ineligibility imposed, commencing from date of provisional suspension.

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