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Drug Free Sport New Zealand v Mark Spessot


Anti-doping – veteran cyclist (S) tested positive for prohibited substances prednisone and terbutaline in sample taken from him after race – provisionally suspended without opposition – admitted violation of Sports Anti-Doping Rules 2015 (SADR) Rule 2.1 – self-administered prohibited substances in the two days prior to the race for legitimate therapeutic reasons to relieve asthma rather than to enhance sports performance – as a non-national level athlete applied for retroactive Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) but unable to satisfy requirements for TUE International Standard due to lack of medical evidence relating to the specific asthma episode – mistaken belief that would have obtained a TUE based on his long medical history with asthma – considered appeal against TUEC decision but decided not to pursue this – standard period of ineligibility for unintentional use of specified substance was two years under SADR Rule 10.2.2 – whether S could establish no significant fault or negligence in seeking a reduction of the two year period under SADR Rule – S submitted lower standard of obligations under SADR should apply to amateur athletes, mitigating factors including genuine therapeutic purpose, alternatives to terbutaline which S not allergic to were not available in New Zealand, unable to arrange doctor’s appointment due to work commitments, had not attended any DFS educational seminars or received information from DFS, had disclosed medications on Doping Control Form – DFS submitted SADR applies to all athletes – consider individual circumstances in factual assessment of application of SADR – S knew about prohibited status of prednisone from discussions with doctor – experienced cyclist with general awareness of anti-doping regime – Tribunal not satisfied that no significant fault or negligence – disregarded strict obligations on all athletes under SADR – as threshold test not met unable to consider a reduction less than the standard period of two years ineligibility – commencement date of ineligibility to start from date of sample collection given all the circumstances and prompt admission of violation once TUE appeal rights dealt with.

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