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Drug Free Sport New Zealand v Peter Martin


Anti-doping – athlete selected for Paralympic Games tested positive for probenecid – case heard and decided under urgency – athlete admitted violation but gave evidence violation was inadvertent – doctor at accident and emergency clinic prescribed and administered probenecid to athlete treat cellulitis due to infection – doctor gave evidence there was a serious medical emergency, with potentially life threatening consequences if untreated, and probenecid was seen as an essential treatment option – athlete gave evidence he advised treating doctor, and subsequent medical personnel he saw on return visits for further treatment with probenecid, that had been selected for the Paralympic Games, was subject to drug testing and could not take anything that was a prohibited substance – however, athlete and the doctors did not realise that probenecid was prohibited – prime responsibility is on athletes to be vigilant in respect of any substance they take – athlete acknowledged could have done more but submitted his level of fault very low in the circumstances – Tribunal satisfied that probenecid was prescribed for a clear therapeutic reason and that performance enhancement or masking was not in issue – breach arose out of a critical medical emergency where insufficient attention was given to athlete being subject to the Drug Free regime – case is about inadvertence and oversight by a very sick man – Tribunal satisfied in these circumstances issuing a reprimand (and no suspension) sufficiently reflected the actual culpability in the breach.

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