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Softball New Zealand Inc v Cindy Potae


Anti-doping – morphine – whether fault or negligence – taking non-prohibited substance that can metabolise into prohibited substance – comments on potential consequences when delay in filing application and player competing at any level – Tribunal accepted evidence that athlete had taken two codeine based Nurofen Plus tablets (commonly used and widely available pain relief remedy) to alleviate toothache – Tribunal accepted expert scientific evidence that codeine metabolises into morphine in person’s system (rates and levels differ depending on individual) – athlete’s drug test returned reading for both codeine and morphine – expert scientific evidence accepted that morphine reading in drug test was consistent with her having taken the two codeine based tablets (based upon codeine/morphine ratios commonly accepted in the scientific literature) – tablets do not contain morphine or any other prohibited substance – tablets contain codeine which is not a prohibited substance – Tribunal satisfied on balance of probabilities that the tablets were the source of the morphine (as result of codeine metabolising into morphine) – Tribunal satisfied that athlete not at fault in taking tablets – athlete cannot be held at fault if they take a recognised remedy containing no prohibited substances and which they could not be expected to know may lead in the case of some athletes to prohibited substance morphine being in athlete’s system – as Tribunal found athlete had no fault or negligence, no period of ineligibility was imposed.

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