ST 2021_07 DFSNZ vs Athlete

In March 2021 New Zealand Customs intercepted a parcel containing Ibutamoren capsules adressed to the Athlete and informed the New Zealand Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Authority (Medsafe) about this shipment. Medsafe contacted the Athlete and Drug Free Sport New Zealand (DFSNZ). In July 2021 anti-doping rule violations were reported against the Athlete for the use and possession of the prohibited substance.

After notification the amateur Athlete admitted the purchase and use of the substance in March 2021 to assist him with his gym training. After interception of the first parcel a replacement product was delivered and used a few day before he was informed by Medsafe about the prohibited substance.

Meanwhile in March 2021 the Athlete also became a registered football player for his local club and so subjected to the Sports Anti-Doping Rules (SADR). The Athlete stated that he was unaware the product was prohibited, or that he was subject to the anti-doping regime due to his weekend recreational football.

DFSNZ accepted that the violation was not intentional and that the product was used not in the context of sport or anti-doping. Further DFSNZ regarded that he is a recreational athlete, participating in football for fun at a low level of competition. He had not received any anti-doping education or information about the SADR, he is relatively young, and acted with a low degree of fault or negligence.

In October 2021 DFSNZ and the Athlete reached an  agreement for a jount memorandum with an appropriate sanction for 13 months. However by Minute the Sports Tribunal of New Zealand deemed that this 13 month period of ineligibility is not fair or proportionate on the facts of this case.

The Tribunal previously had expressed concern about the lack of jurisdiction within the anti-doping code to differentiate sanctions between different levels of athlete, when lower-level athletes faced the same sanctions as elite competitors who receive doping education and support.

The Tribunal found the effects of the new 2021 Code which introduced a new category of athlete and provided a more flexible sanctioning regime for recreational athletes had not been reflected by the proposed sanction.

Considering these circumstances the Tribunal did not approve the proposed sanction of 13 months and decides on 1 December 2021 to impose a 4 month period of ineligibility on the amateur Athlete, starting on the date of the provisional suspension, i.e. on 16 August 2021.

Original document


Legal Source
National Decisions
1 December 2021
Aitken, Ruth
Davidson, Nicholas
Farmer, Jim
Hayward, Pippa
Original Source
Sports Tribunal of New Zealand
New Zealand
Use / attempted use
Legal Terms
Case law / jurisprudence
Competence / Jurisdiction
Multiple violations
No intention to cheat
No intention to enhance performance
No Significant Fault or Negligence
Period of ineligibility
Principle of fairness
Principle of proportionality
Rules & regulations National Sports Organisations & National Anti-Doping Organisations
WADA Code, Guidelines, Protocols, Rules & Regulations
Football (FIFA) - International Football Federation
Other organisations
Drug Free Sport New Zealand (DFSNZ)
Doping classes
S2. Peptide Hormones, Growth Factors
Medical terms
Treatment / self-medication
Amateur / club / recreational sport
Document type
Pdf file
Date generated
7 December 2021
Date of last modification
4 January 2022
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