In February 2022 the English and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has reported an anti-doping rule violation against the Cricket player Tom Wood after his sample tested positive for the prohibited substance Terbutaline.
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 denied the intentional use of the substance. He demonstrated with evidence that he suffered from asthma since he was a child and that the Terbutaline was used as prescribed medication.
The Athlete requested for a reduced sanction on the basis of No Significant Fault or Negligence. He asserted that in his career the Club's medical staff was aware of his use of his inhaler whereas the anti-doping training he had received was inadequate.
He understood that as a second team player using medication he could apply retrospectively. Yet, his application for a retroactive TUE was rejected in December 2021.
The ECB already had accepted that the violation was not intentional and that the substance was used as prescribed medication. The ECB acknowledged that in the ADR and in the material published online it remained unclear to determine if a player is in the National TUE Pool and whether he must apply in advance for a TUE or can apply retroactively.
Considering the evidence in this case the Sole Arbitrator did not accept the Athlete's assertion that the anti-doping training he had received was inadequate in respect of advance or retroactive TUE applications.
Yet, on a balance of probabilities the Sole Arbitrator concludes that the Athlete and his Club were convinced that applying for a TUE for the Athlete and his inhaler in the case was not a priority and that he could apply retroactively if he was ever tested and it returned positive.
In view of the circumstances the Sole Arbitrator deems that the Athlete acted with No Significant Fault or Negligence. Further the Sole Arbitrator regards that there was some substantial delay in the proceedings due to the Athlete's application for a retroactive TUE based upon advice received.
Therefore the National Anti-Doping Panel decides on 24 June 2022 to impose a 6 month period of ineligibility on the Athlete, starting back dated on 8 January 2022.