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Drug Free Sport New Zealand v Claudia Hanham


Anti-doping – Prednisone – medication prescribed was prohibited substance – C tested positive after hockey game – C didn’t deny taking Prednisone and disclosed it on testing form – admitted violation but said hadn’t known Prednisone was prohibited and it had been prescribed to her for medical treatment – in March admitted into hospital and diagnosed with extremely serious life threatening condition that could result in kidney failure and early mortality – prescribed a high dose of Prednisone (plus other medications) and remained on those drugs at a diminishing level since then – since learning of positive test C applied for , and granted, TUE – C went to consultant doctor in April and asked whether she could safely participate in sport given her condition and medication prescribed – discussed medical risks of playing sport – C and mother told the doctor C was playing representative sport but doctor not she was subject to drug testing – doctor considered Prednisone diminished athletic performance and wasn’t aware it was prohibited – Tribunal noted athletes need to be explicit about their situation when consulting doctors – athletes ideally should make enquiries of more than one source apart from doctor – C did check the Prohibited List on WADA website (which doesn’t specifically identify Prednisone as being prohibited) but didn’t check with DFS – clear obligation is on athlete – however, in the particular circumstances of case reprimand rather than suspension appropriate – C clearly not a drug cheat and was a young woman subject to a sudden and serious life threatening medical situation requiring treatment – while she should in hindsight have made better inquiries, in these particular circumstances a reprimand is all that is required – importance of her obligation is underlined by the period of suspension under the provisional order – Tribunal reprimanded C.

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