skip to Main Content

Drug Free Sport New Zealand v Wiremu Takerei


Anti-doping – touch player tested positive for the prohibited substance 1, 3-dimethylpentylamine, also known as methylhexaneamine, after playing in final at national tournament – drank supplement offered to him by team-mate to help him keep awake several hours before final – unknown to him supplement contained methylhexaneamine – didn’t check ingredients and assumed it was an energy drink – player did shift work and usually slept at times some tournament matches played – gave evidence took supplement to counter unusual sleep pattern caused by shift work and took it for purpose of “keeping his eyes open” and not to enhance sports performance – however admitted he also took it to give him energy to play in the final – mandatory penalty is two years’ suspension but can be less if athlete can establish certain things including that the taking of the substance was not intended to enhance his sports performance – whether athlete who takes a supplement for performance enhancing reasons, but doesn’t know it contains a prohibited substance, can still satisfy the test of not taking the prohibited substance for performance enhancing reasons – Tribunal noted conflict over this issue in recent international doping cases that had reached different conclusions and issue not yet settled – Tribunal decided player had not comfortably satisfied them that he did not take the supplement (containing methylhexaneamine) to enhance his sports performance – however, by a two to one majority, the Tribunal panel was comfortably satisfied he didn’t take methylhexaneamine to enhance sports performance and so eligible for a lesser penalty – reasonable degree of fault – knew about dangers of performance-enhancing drugs but made no enquiry when supplement given to him to drink – took it immediately before an important match which should have alerted him to check what he was taking – has been drug tested previously and has had some drug education – most recent comparable Tribunal decision was Blair Jacobs case where 12 months’ suspension imposed and difficult to see how the suspension can be any less in present case – 12 months’ ineligibility imposed.

Back To Top