In December 2021 the United Kingdom Anti-Doping (UKAD) has reported an anti-doping rule violation against the Canadian Ice Hockey player Anthony De Luca for presence and use after his sample tested positive for the prohibited substance Cannabis in a concentration above the WADA threshold (295 ng/mL).
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 that he had used Cannabis daily in Canada until his arrival in England. He asserted that any use occurred out-of-competition in a context unrelated to sport performance.
UKAD contended that Athlete had used Cannabis at the material time on the day of the competition and that it was unlikely that the found concentration in his sample was attributed to his use before his arrival to England.
The Panel concludes that there was no evidence that the Athlete had used Cannabis at the material time on the day of the competition since the London Lab could not corroborate UKAD's contention in this matter. As a result the Panel deems that the Athlete had committed an anti-doping rule violation for the presence, not for the use of Cannabis.
Nevertheless the Panel also did not accept the Athlete's denial that he had not used Cannabis after his arrival in England two weeks before the competition. Further the Panel considers that the Athlete continued to play professionally in Canada while he was aware that a provisional suspension was ordered in the United Kingdom.
Therefore the National Anti-Doping Panel decides on 21 June 2022 to impose a 3 month period of ineligibility on the Athlete, starting on the date of the decision. This sanction could be reduced to 1 month if the Athlete satisfactorily completes a Substance of Abuse treatment program approved by UKAD.