Surfboat rower Brendan Ellis, of Batemans Bay club on the NSW South Coast, has been banned for two years following a breach of the movement’s anti-doping policy competing in the Ocean Thunder Surf Boat Series at Dee Why Surf Club on January 11, 2014, according to Surf Life Saving Australia.

Ellis, a part of this year’s champion crew in the professional Ocean Thunder Series and a 2012 world surfboat title winner, was associated to an over-the-counter sports supplement that had Oxilofrine (methylsynephrine), which is a stimulant chemically related to ephedrine and sometimes found in some dietary and sport supplements. Oxilofrine is prohibited when used in competition.

The 31-year-old said he was no drug cheat and added he had simply been caught out by ingredients (made overseas) not mentioned in the packaging of a “pre-trainer’’ product. Ellis added he thought the boys in the crew were playing a prank on him when he was informed of the positive test. He also remarked a two-year ban received by him is the same as for someone who tested positive to anabolic steroids. Ellis said he means this stuff can be bought by kids over the counter at most health stores and it doesn’t seem fair.

Ellis, a surfboat rower with the Batemans Bay Surf Life Saving Club, used a pre-trainer supplement called Mesomorph, an over-the-counter sports supplement, on the morning at Ocean Thunder Surf Boat Series at Dee Why on January 11. Ellis said he was fine to be drug tested after the race as we already had the research and added he had chemists look at it and it is not written on the label that the product had Oxilofrine in it. Ellis said he was devastated with the doping ban and remarked he had hard to achieve what medals he had won at every major event. The Surfboat rower said people will turn around and class him as a steroid taker and added he was expecting a six month or year-long ban but two years is disappointing.

Ellis also remarked had been left to patrols at the surf club but he cannot use paddle boards for instance unless it is a rescue situation. He cannot register with a local touch football, golf or bowls competition if the club or association is registered with an Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) affiliated governing body.

Ellis’ sweep Neil Innes said the punishment was wrong and said he believes there was not enough information for surfboat rowers. Innes said we are branded as drug cheats which is something we’re not happy about and remarked it is not Ellis was on anabolic steroids.

SLSA surf sports manager Nathan Hight said Ellis returned a positive sample to a random test conducting by Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority and would not be able to compete in surf lifesaving sports until April 10, 2016. Hight added Surf Life Saving Australia has a strict anti-doping policy at its sporting events that adheres to the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority and World Anti-Doping Code.

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