3 Jul 2018

High school doping breach one of many

7:22 pm on 3 July 2018

A former secondary school student's four-year ban from rugby after admitting to breaching New Zealand Rugby's Anti-Doping rules is one case of a wider investigation.

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Photo: Photosport NZ

In late 2014, the former student was found to have been in possession of, and using, the banned anabolic agent Clenbuterol - resulting in their suspension.

Clenbuterol is a prohibited substance under the New Zealand Sports Anti-Doping Rules.

As the player was a year-12 student, and a minor at the time of offending, they cannot be publicly identified.

A judicial committee heard the case in March this year, in which the player was found to have made several purchases of, and used, Clenbuterol in 2014.

After assessing evidence, and the player's own conflicting evidence, the committee believed the player knew he was taking some risks and understood that the anabolic agent was banned from sport.

The student said they used Clenbuterol to aid weight loss, and as a student had never received any educational advice about using performance enhancing drugs.

The committee concluded the player knew that by taking Clenbuterol it would strengthen their muscular power and make them stronger pursuing a desire to play 1st XV rugby.

For these reasons, a reduction in the suspension could not be approved. The four-year ban from playing all rugby, was backdated to begin from 1 August 2017.

Drug Free Sport New Zealand have confirmed this case is one of a wider investigation which concluded at the end of March 2017 where a number of athletes in New Zealand were found to be purchasing steroids online, and are now facing sanctions.

Drug Free Sport New Zealand chief executive Nick Paterson said New Zealand has a clean history and believed more education needed to be delivered to young aspiring athletes to keep it that way.

"We know there are increasing pressures on the youth of today compared to previous generations.

"Certainly in sport there are greater rewards at a younger level but we also know there is great work going on in schools and within the Super Rugby franchises in educating our young athletes."

"We will continue to work with athletes at all levels and talk about what drugs they can't take in sport and what they need to do to protect themselves."