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Thursday 03, Mar 2016

  National Women’s League Football Player Banned

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Drug Free Sport New Zealand has announced the case of a footballer banned for six months for unintentionally taking a banned substance truly suggests that athletes are required to exercise “utmost caution” with medications.

National Women’s League (NWL) footballer Kelsey Kennard was banned by the New Zealand Sports Tribunal after she returned a positive sample for Probenecid last November. Kelsey was provisionally suspended without opposition on December 23 after she admitted the violation. The Football South player will be eligible to play again on June 1.

In a statement, the Sports Tribunal said the National Women’s League football player had no intention of playing football for the next few months and it was because of this reason that she did not told the doctors treating her that she was subject to the anti-doping testing regime. The statement also added Kennard also did not make inquiries about what medication she was being given. Kennard was persuaded shortly after to play football and she started training for the 2015 NWL competition. The Football South player was tested at her last NWL game of the season.

Kennard attended an Urgent Doctor’s clinic On 10 September 2015 and was diagnosed with a bad case of cellulitis. The NWL footballer was administered the protocol treatment for cellulitis, which are antibiotics taken together with Probenecid for boosting the effectiveness of the antibiotics. Kennard made a return to the clinic the following two evenings and the same treatment was provided to her, including a further dose of Probenecid on each occasion.

The punishment of Kennard was reduced to six months after the Tribunal was satisfied Kennard established no significant fault to the violation. The standard suspension for the unintentional use of Probenecid is two years under the under the Sports Anti-Doping Rules 2015. The New Zealand Sports Tribunal took exceptional circumstances of the case into account, including the emergency nature of the treatment and the clear therapeutic reason for taking the substance and also said it believed Kennard when she said there was no intention to play in the National Women’s League at the time she took the substance. The Tribunal also considered the length of time Probenecid remained in her system as well as her switch from non-national level athlete to the national level between the time of taking it and the time of testing.

Graeme Steel, the Drug Free Sport NZ chief executive, remarked this case emphasized the requirement for athletes to understand the anti-doping rules around medications. Steel also added Drug Free Sport NZ stresses that athletes need to check whether a medication is prohibited in sport before they take it. The Drug Free Sport NZ chief executive added Kelsey Kennard has learned a hard lesson for not doing this and we would hope that other athletes learn from her mistake and take action to check the status of medications before they take them. He also remarked athletes could check the status of medications on the website of Drug Free Sport or by checking with their medical professional.

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Wednesday 16, Jul 2014

  Victoria Swimmer Gets One-Month Suspension

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Olympic swimmer Alec Page of Victoria will not be able to attend the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games due to a one-month suspension for what is being labeled an inadvertent doping.

The urine sample of Page collected at the Canadian swim trials for the Games, held in April at his home Saanich Commonwealth Place revealed traces of the prohibited substance Probenecid that is a masking agent. The athlete is supported by Swimming Canada and it was remarked that the 20-year-old athlete accidentally ingested Probenecid through a tainted supplement he was using.

Swimming Canada remarked the reason for the light sentence is that the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport that administers doping control and violation sanctions in the country found the degree of fault of Page to be low. The one-month ban imposed on Page ran May 25 to June 25 but the violation retroactively purged his time and first-place finish in the 400-metre IM from the trials since he tested positive, which means he cannot be on the roster for the Canadian team for both the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and Pan-Pacific championships on the Gold Coast of Australia.

In a statement released through Swimming Canada, Page said it is an unfortunate situation and came as a complete shock. The athlete also remarked he has always followed a strict and regimented program with regards to his diet and what supplements he puts into his body, following prescribed guidelines developed by national experts. The swimmer said he respects the anti-doping rules and understands they are put in place to create a level playing field for all athletes and added he is always honored to wear the Maple Leaf and represent his country on the international stage.

Page also remarked he loves his sport and all of the people he have met doing it and said he would never do anything to jeopardize that. Page also said he is very disappointed that he will not be able to compete at the Commonwealth Games and Pan Pacific championships. The athlete also remarked he understands there is a consequence associated with the risk of taking supplements and added things like this can still happen even after consulting national experts and following the right guidelines. The Canadian swimmer further remarked this has been a difficult time but he is glad this predicament is over now and he can move on and added he loves representing Canada and will continue to push forward and keep his focus on the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

In a statement, Swimming Canada CEO Ahmed El-Awadi said it is Alec did not intend to cheat and that the presence of trace amounts of this substance was inadvertent and added that a reduced ban was appropriate and allows Alec to continue pursuing his career as one of Canada’s most talented young swimmers.

The situation is reminiscent of the controversy involving triathlete Kelly Guest of Victoria who was removed from the squad for the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games after Kelly inadvertently ingested the steroid Nandrolone that he claimed must have been through the nutritional supplements he was taking.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Victoria Swimmer Gets One-Month Suspension

Thursday 28, Apr 2011

  De Villiers is no cheat

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De Villiers is no cheatTommy Conlon Pieter de Villiers accidentally ended up with a cocktail of cocaine and ecstasy coursing through his bloodstream after he and his Stade Francais team mates went out for a feed of drink after beating Harlequins.

The South African-born French rugby player is now facing a ban of two years after a random test on December 18 picked up traces of the drugs.

If his statement is any thing to believe, Pieter de Villiers probably had received an unfair deal.