In March 2020 United Kingdom Anti-Doping (UKAD) has reported an anti-doping rule violation against the rugby player Morgan Jones after his sample tested positive for the prohibited substance Cocaine. After notification a provisional suspension was ordered. The Athlete filed a statement in his defence and he was heard for the National Anti-Doping Panel.
The Athlete admitted the violation and testified with evidence that he was coping with his personal circumstances and sought release through alcohol and drugs. He is still under care of a consultant in substance misuse and psychiatry. He acknowledged that he had used Cocaine 3 times that night and had consumed a considerable amount of alcohol.
In this case there were deliberations between the Parties about the applicability of lex mitior since the WADC 2021 and the 2021 ADR had come into force with the option for the imposition of a 3 month period of ineligibility when the ingestion of the substance occurred Out-Of-Competition and was unrelated to sport performance.
UKAD accepted that the violation was not intentional and that the Athlete bears No Significant Fault of Negligence. However UKAD denied the applicability of lex mitior. It contended that the use of Cocaine occurred not Out-Of-Competition since the Athlete had admitted that he had used the substance between 00:00 en 01:00 on the day of the competition while he knew he was due to be playing there.
The Panel established that the Athlete had admitted the violation and that the use of the Cocaine was unrelated to sport performance. The Panel rejected UKAD's contentions and considered that UKAD already had accepted the applicability of lex mitior in respect of six other cases.
Based on lex mitior the Panel deems that the Athlete should be able to benefit from a lower sanction that had become available. Further the Panel regards that there were delays in the proceedings not attributed to the Athlete and that he had respected the imposed provisional suspension.
Therefore on 12 April 2021 the National Anti-Doping Panel decides to impose a 3 month period of ineligibility on the Athlete which he has already served during the provisional suspension. Accordingly the Athlete is free to resume alle sporting activities with immediate effect.