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Drug Free Sport NZ officially recognises ban on cyclist Karl Murray

18 May 2015

Drug Free Sport NZ has formally recognised a ban handed down to New Zealand cyclist Karl Murray for doping offences in New Caledonia.

Mr Murray was banned from all sport for two years in April 2014 by the New Caledonia Anti-Doping Commission after returning a positive drug test for Testosterone and Nandrolone.

The New Caledonia Anti-Doping Commission is not a signatory to the World Anti-Doping Code which means its decisions are not automatically recognised by other anti-doping agencies.

Drug Free Sport NZ was not formally notified of the 2014 decision by the Commission and only became aware of the ban earlier this year.  

Its chief executive, Graeme Steel, says the organisation needed to determine the legal status of the ban in New Zealand.  

The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), which is a signatory to the code formally recognised the ban in March this year enabling it to be officially recognised in this country.

“There’s no place in sport for performance enhancing drugs and we’re disappointed that a New Zealand athlete has tested positive for steroids,” Mr Steel says.

“Athletes need to know that they can be tested anywhere and at any time and they shouldn’t think they won’t get caught.”

Mr Steel adds that Mr Murray’s ban extends to coaching and training and warns athletes who may be working with Mr Murray to take heed of this.

“The rules have changed so we’re urging any New Zealand athletes who are bound by the Sports Anti-Doping Rules and who may be receiving coaching or training from Mr Murray to cease working with him for the duration of his ban.  Under the new anti-doping rules, an athlete may be committing an offence if they associate in a professional or sport-related capacity with someone who is serving a ban for doping,” Mr Steel says.

Drug Free Sport NZ has advised Mr Murray that the two year ban is now officially recognised in this country.  His ban ceases on 7 April 2016.

About the anti-doping rule of “prohibited association”:

  • The World Anti-Doping Code came into force on January 2015 and introduced a new rule of “prohibited association”.
  • The rule of “prohibited association” was introdcued to better address the problem of athlete support personnel in doping.
  • The rule of “prohibited association” states that an athlete must not associate in a professional or sport-related capacity with someone, such as a coach or medical professional, who has been found guilty of an anti-doping rule violation or the equivalent.
  • The rule only applies to athletes who are members of a national sporting organisation that has agreed to New Zealand’s Sport Anti-Doping Rules.  It does not apply to recreational athletes (who are not members of a sports club or organisation) nor does it apply to sports that have not agreed to the Rules.
  • Drug Free Sport NZ would formally notifiy an athlete to cease associating with someone who is serving a ban for doping, before taking any action against the athlete
  • An athlete who is found guilty of “prohibited association” could face a ban of up to two-years from all sport.