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Drug Free Sport New Zealand v Jared Neho (No.2)


Anti-doping – rugby league player playing while suspended – On 25 January 2013, Tribunal suspended athlete for 12 weeks for an anti-doping violation (see DFS v Jared Neho ST 05/12) – on 17 February, he competed, in breach of suspension order, in a pre-season trial match organised by two rugby league clubs – admitted violation – mistakenly thought suspension didn’t apply to club match as wasn’t sanctioned by regional rugby league body – also received informal advice from club president who thought it was okay for him to play for the same reason – Tribunal accepted he genuinely made a mistake in believing he could play, reinforced by advice he received, and that he didn’t intend to breach the suspension – however athlete not able to establish “no significant fault” – high level of personal responsibility imposed on athletes – receiving informal advice from someone in president’s position, without directly checking the correctness of that advice, won’t in normal circumstances be sufficient to establish “no significant fault” – athlete could have checked first with Drug Free Sport New Zealand whether his suspension prevented him playing in this game – as couldn’t establish “no significant fault”, no basis to reduce suspension penalty required under Sports Anti-Doping Rules – athlete suspended for 12 weeks commencing from the date of the breach on 17 February 2013 – comments about what suspended player can and can’t do.

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