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New Zealand Federation of Body Builders v Tony Ligaliga


Anti-doping – Benzylpiperazine (BZP) – recreational use – body builder took a “party pill” containing BZP when on a night out socialising – BZP not specifically named as a prohibited substance under WADA Prohibited List – however it qualifies as a prohibited substance because it falls into the category of a substance “with a similar chemical structure or similar biological effect(s)” to other stimulants named in S6 of the Prohibited List (stimulants) – judicial review – whether determination of NZ Sports Drug Agency that a doping violation had been committed can be challenged before Tribunal – unless a determination of the Agency is challenged in the District Court, the Tribunal is bound to accept it as valid – whether no significant fault or negligence – athletes will only be able to establish no significant fault in truly exceptional circumstances – party pill not taken for performance enhancing purposes and athlete prominent advocate of drug free body building – while Tribunal sympathetic to athlete’s position he had been careless in taking a prohibited substance and had been at significant fault – strict liability nature of WADA Code – no truly exceptional circumstances to establish no significant fault defence – 2 years’ ineligibility imposed.

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