Rugby League Player Handed 9-Month Ban As A Result Of Taking A Contaminated Supplement

Wednesday - May 03rd 2017

League player handed 9-month ban as a result of taking a contaminated supplement

The NZ Sports Tribunal has banned promising rugby league player Michael Butson from all sport for nine months after testing positive for the Beta-2 agonist higenamine.

Mr Butson returned a positive test as a result of taking a pre work-out supplement called “The One 2.0”. The supplement packaging did not list higenamine as one of the ingredients. 

Mr Butson, 22, a former New Zealand representative player at age group level, played the 2016 rugby league season for the Canterbury Bulls provincial team in the New Zealand Rugby League National Provincial Competition. 

Drug Free Sport NZ chief executive Graeme Steel says the case is another stark warning to athletes of the risk associated with taking supplements.
 “To be frank, with Mr Butson’s background, he should have known better,” Mr Steel says.

“The supplement industry is not regulated, so taking supplements can be a lottery, especially pre-workout products which are notorious for containing ingredients which are on WADA’s Prohibited List,” he says.
“We strongly encourage athletes in New Zealand to use the DFSNZ supplement check on our website to help assess the risk of any supplement.”

Mr Butson was introduced to a “very detailed supplement regime” after being drafted into the Melbourne Storm junior development squad from 2011 to 2014 where he was under the guidance of training and medical staff. He purchased the pre-workout supplement from a retail outlet in Australia and not online.

The 9-month ban has been backdated to the sample collection date of 22 September, 2016.

Read the Sports Tribunal of New Zealand decision here.