Rugby player gets anti-doping ban for importing banned substances

The New Zealand Rugby Judicial Committee has banned a recreational rugby player for two years after a package containing multiple banned substances was intercepted at the border by NZ Customs in October 2022. 

Medsafe investigated the contents of the package, which was addressed to the athlete. They identified an experimental peptide, a testosterone-stimulating peptide and a growth hormone secretagogue, all of which are banned in sport at all times. They referred the case to Drug Free Sport New Zealand, now the Sport Integrity Commission Te Kahu Raunui (the Commission), for further investigation. 

The athlete provided evidence that use of the substances was not intended to improve sporting performance but was to treat a medical condition diagnosed while he was playing rugby overseas. Drug Free Sport New Zealand accepted that the doping was not intentional. 

Commission CEO Rebecca Rolls emphasised that this case was a reminder that anti-doping rules apply at all levels of sport. 

“It doesn’t matter if an athlete takes a banned substance intentionally to cheat at sport or for other reasons, they are still bound by anti-doping rules. This is to protect the integrity of sport by making sure no-one has an unfair advantage, knowingly or otherwise. At all levels, using, importing and buying banned substances risks a ban from all sport.”  

The athlete’s ban was backdated to 9 August 2023.  

The substances found in the seized package were: 

  • Chorionic Gonadotropin (Testosterone-stimulating peptide) 

  • BPC-157 (Experimental peptide) 

  • CJC-1295/Ipamorelin (Growth hormone secretagogue) 

Read the New Zealand Rugby Judicial Committee decision