Tough sanctions for two positive IRB drug tests

(Rugby News Service) Tuesday 24 July 2007
 Tough sanctions for two positive IRB drug tests

An Argentina Under 21 Player has received an 18 month sanction after testing positive for the prohibited substance Stanozolol, an anabolic agent, at the 2006 IRB Under 21 Championships in Clermont Ferrand, France in June 2006.

Martin Bustos Moyano was tested out-of-competition at the start of the Tournament, the test resulting in his adverse analytical finding for the anabolic agent. Moyano was immediately provisionally suspended and remained so until his hearing was completed. His sanction runs until 13 December 2007.

This case further highlights the dangers of nutritional supplementation; all Players must be extremely cautious when taking any nutritional supplements as the contents may contain prohibited substances not listed on the label of the product.

All Players fall under the strict liability principle in that they are responsible for any prohibited substance found in their system. This means that a violation occurs whether or not the Player intentionally or unintentionally, knowing or unknowingly, used a prohibited substance or was negligent or otherwise at fault.

The following comments from WADA form part of the IRB/WADA Athlete Guide which can be downloaded from the anti-doping section of the IRB website in English, French or Spanish:

"Extreme caution is recommended regarding supplement use. It is WADA's position that a good diet is of utmost importance to athletes. The use of dietary supplements by athletes is a concern because in many countries the manufacturing and labelling of supplements may not follow strict rules, which may lead to a supplement containing an undeclared substance that is prohibited under anti-doping regulations. A significant number of positive tests have been attributed to the misuse of supplements, and taking a poorly labeled dietary supplement is not an adequate defence in a doping hearing".

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Nambian player tests positive

A senior player from Namibia has received a two-year sanction after testing positive for the prohibited substance Methandienone, an anabolic agent.

Roger Thompson provided a sample as part of the IRB's out-of-competition testing programme having been notified by an authorised testing official in person of his test at his home in Windhoek, Namibia late in December 2006.

The suprise test follows the IRB's principle that players can be tested anywhere, at anytime and not only during rugby activities. Thompson, who was to be part of the Namibian RWC 2007 squad, will now miss the Rugby World Cup 2007 while he serves a 2 year sanction for his offence, which runs until 30 January 2009.

Prior to taking any medication or substance all players are urged to consult with their National Union's Medical Officer and to check the current WADA Prohibited List (available on both the IRB and WADA websites) before any medication or substance is administered.

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