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Touch New Zealand v Jade Koro


Anti-doping – cannabis – recreational use – defendant smoked cannabis at party two weeks before tournament where drug tested – Tribunal referred to its earlier decision in Boxing NZ v Mene (SDT 13/04) where sanctions imposed in UK, Canada and Australia for cannabis violations were referred to – Tribunal noted approach in USA (where warnings often imposed) – test in Mene adopted and applied – unless there are aggravating circumstances, a warning and reprimand is appropriate penalty for a first offender who prior to a tournament smoked cannabis “recreationally”, rather than for performance enhancing purposes, where that cannabis use did not represent a danger to others – Tribunal emphasised that existence of aggravating circumstances may justify suspension – observations on situations which might amount to aggravating circumstances – Tribunal referred to Touch’s practice of getting players to sign player participation agreements, which essentially include agreement not to use banned substances – it may amount to aggravating circumstances if player signs such an agreement and then uses cannabis – however no such aggravating circumstances in present case as Touch could not produce any evidence that defendant had signed such an agreement – warning and reprimand imposed.

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