Skip to Content

Footballer banned from sport for 4-months for doping violation

2 Dec 2021

Use and possession of Ibutamoren

A club footballer has received a 4-month ban from all sport from the Sport Tribunal of New Zealand, backdated to 16 August 2021, after admitting the use and possession of Ibutamoren.

Ibutamoren is a ‘Growth hormone secretagogue’, a class of drugs that increase the secretion of growth hormones. It is illegal to buy in New Zealand without prescription and is prohibited in sport at all times. Growth hormone secretagogues are purported to aid recovery from injury, increase lean muscle mass and decrease body fat.

Medsafe brought the purchase to the attention of Drug Free Sport New Zealand (DFSNZ) following a New Zealand Customs seizure in March 2021.

“We know from experience that recreational athletes say they would not take part if they thought their competitors had an unfair advantage,” said Drug Free Sport New Zealand Chief Executive, Nick Paterson. “Many Kiwis play weekend sport and athletes of all ages, from our kids through to masters, and all want to know that the games they are playing are clean and the integrity of their competitions is protected. Doping – intentional or not – compromises both.”

“The substance in this case is illegal to buy without prescription as well as being banned in sport. If athletes want to stay safe, for their own health as well as the integrity of their competition, diligent enquiry will often reveal much of this information.”

“We would like to thank New Zealand Football for their support of clean sport at all levels of competition, which has resulted in a significant growth in NZ Football members being educated since 2019.”

The athlete was sanctioned under the 2021 Sports Anti-Doping Rules, which reflect the 2021 World Anti-Doping Code (the Code). As Drug Free Sport New Zealand asked for in its submissions to WADA, this Code provides for differential sanctioning for recreational athletes when compared to high performance athletes, recognising they have different support structures around them. In this case, the Code and the SADR allowed for a reduced sanction for the athlete.

Find out more about the Sports Anti-Doping Rules and DFSNZ’s online courses at