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Drug Free Sport New Zealand v Taani Prestney


Anti-doping – rugby league player, tested positive for prohibited substance 1, 3 – dimethylpentylamine, also known as methylhexaneamine, after playing a match – admitted violation and gave evidence he took a supplement before going to do weight lifting and that supplement was the cause of positive test – told rugby league team mates at training that he had taken the supplement the day before and they told him it contained a banned substance – he played the match the next day – said he took the supplement to assist in his weight training – whether taking the supplement to assist in weight training was an intention to enhance sports performance under the rules – Tribunal decided “by a very fine margin” that athlete had not intended to enhance his sports performance – warning that athletes who take supplements for purposes relating to their physical wellbeing or improvement run a very high risk that they will be held to have taken them to enhance their sports performance – athlete had high degree of fault – total lack of enquiry about the supplement; knew before he took the field that the supplement contained a prohibited substance, yet he took the field; and, despite some conflict in evidence, it is apparent he was warned of the dangers of that particular supplement in an anti-doping presentation by the team manager – mitigating factors included youth and inexperience – not an elite athlete and would not have had the same exposure to drug education as they do – Tribunal took view that he was rather naïve in what he did but all athletes must be vigilant and where there is any doubt must remove themselves from participation – fact athlete not aware of consequences of taking drug will not usually be relevant to degree of fault – in many respects higher degree of fault than Jacobs case (where 12 months’ suspension imposed) but mitigating factors taken into account here and 12 months’ suspension was appropriate.

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