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Rugby player banned for two years for methamphetamine

Rugby player banned for two years after testing positive for methamphetamine

The New Zealand Rugby Judicial Committee has today released its decision in the case of Manawatu Cyclones rugby player Aroha Nuku following a positive test for methamphetamine.

Ms Nuku provided a urine sample following the Manawatu v Waikato Farah Palmer Cup match in Palmerston North in September last year. The sample subsequently tested positive for methamphetamine and amphetamine and testing of the ‘B Sample’ confirmed the finding.

Methamphetamine and amphetamine are non-specified substances prohibited in-competition under S6a (Stimulants) of the Prohibited List 2017.

Ms Nuku’s explanation to the New Zealand Rugby Judicial Committee was that she took a white powder that she believed to be Ritalin in order to keep awake while driving home late one night from rugby training in Palmerston North to her home in Opunake.

Drug Free Sport New Zealand chief executive, Nick Paterson, says Ms Nuku was reckless in taking an unknown white powder which she incorrectly believed to be a prescription medication. Ritalin itself is also prohibited in sport.

“Ms Nuku received anti-doping education at the beginning of the 2017 rugby season and a range of 2017 clean sport collateral was available at the education seminar. We are disappointed that she took the white powder she was offered, especially as she would have been aware of the risks involved,” Mr Paterson says.

“This is yet another cautionary tale for other athletes and their support personnel to be extremely mindful of what substances they are taking. Athletes are 100 percent responsible for what they put into their bodies.”

Ms Nuku’s two-year ban has been backdated to start 22 September 2017.

Read the full decision of the New Zealand Rugby Judicial Committee here.

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