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PURCHASING OF SUBSTANCES AND SUPPLEMENTS VIA THE INTERNET
The Australian Rugby Union strongly advises all rugby participants (players/support staff) that they should not purchase any substances or supplements over the internet unless the product has been evaluated and recommended by a sports physician or dietician with knowledge of ARU’s Anti-Doping Code.
In recent months there have been some cases in which amateur rugby players have purchased prohibited substances via the internet from overseas.
The substances have been detected by the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service at the International Mail Sydney Gateway Facility.
The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Agency (ASADA) have investigated the matters and then referred them to the ARU as potential violations of the ARU Anti-Doping Code.
The players were subsequently found to have committed anti-doping rule violations and have been suspended for two years. These violations have also been recorded and published on ASADA’s register of Findings.
The suspensions mean that the players are ineligible to participate as a player or support person in any sports that have adopted the World Anti-Doping Agency Code until the completion of their suspension.
In many countries the manufacturing and labelling of supplements may not follow strict rules. This may lead to a supplement containing an undeclared substance that is prohibited under ARU’s Anti-Doping Code. There is a significantly higher risk of a supplement containing a prohibited substance when compared to a pharmaceutical grade product.
While some supplement manufacturers may guarantee the ingredients in their product, or that the use of the product will not result in a positive anti-doping test, the individual is still responsible if a prohibited substance or method is detected, even with the guarantee.
Australian Rugby does allow its elite level athletes to use supplements but only as part of an overall nutritional plan. Each elite level athlete using a supplement receives advice and support from a sports dietician or physician with knowledge of ARU’s Anti-Doping Code.
All elite athletes using a supplement are reminded that under ARU’s Anti-Doping Code a strict liability rule applies and this means that the athlete is responsible for any substance found in their body. A positive test to a prohibited substance is likely to result in a sanction excluding the athlete from participating in rugby for a period of time.
Athletes are also advised that possession and trafficking in prohibited substances may also lead to a breach of ARU’s Anti-Doping Code.
Blaming a supplement for an anti-doping violation is not an adequate defence.
Information and Education
If you are unaware of your anti-doping responsibilities you are encouraged to seek additional information and education online at ASADA’s website www.asada.gov.au
. More information on Anti-Doping
is also available at www.rugby.com.au/policies
IGNORANCE IS NOT AN EXCUSE