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Drug Free Sport New Zealand v Nigel Cordes (No.2)


Anti-doping – athlete playing sport while suspended – On 12 October 2012, the Tribunal suspended athlete for 18 months (commencing from 15 August 2012) for an anti-doping violation he committed while competing in power lifting (see DFS v Nigel Cordes ST 04/12) – subsequently competed in 12 club cricket games – admitted violation but gave evidence it was unintentional – despite checking anti-doping rules hadn’t realised his suspension applied to any sport apart from powerlifting – athlete at fault – could have checked with Drug Free Sport or taken advice on rules before playing – rules are technical but clear – original period of suspension starts again at the date of the last breach of suspension unless athlete can establish no significant fault – whether “no significant fault” – Tribunal thought there were factors that assisted athlete (sport in which he participated was different from the one he was competing in when committed anti-doping violation and was originally suspended; athlete tried to check whether he was prohibited from playing cricket; Tribunal decision suspending him hadn’t specifically drawn his attention to the fact the suspension applied across all sports but Tribunal had made him aware of this in its earlier provisional suspension decision; Tribunal noted an American case that decided an athlete who had breached a suspension unintentionally had a lack of significant fault) – in the particular circumstances of this case, the Tribunal decided athlete was entitled to a reduction of penalty under the “no significant fault” rule – Tribunal imposed a suspension of 15 months (instead of 18 months) commencing from 9 March 2013.

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