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Drug Free Sport NZ seeks immediate explanation

August 23, 2006

Drug Free Sport NZ seeks immediate explanation from FIBA over Dickel case

Drug Free Sport NZ today expressed deep concern at the decision of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) to rehear the Mark Dickel case.

Dickel tested positive for cannabis last month and was given an extra three-match ban by FIBA on the eve of the world tournament which has begun in Japan. He was earlier suspended for two other games.

“The FIBA actions do not appear to us to comply with the requirements of the World Anti-Doping Code” Drug Free Sport executive director Graeme Steel said today.

“From our point of view this appears to be in breach of the code and we have written to FIBA seeking an immediate explanation.”

Steel emphasised that the concern was not registered on behalf of the player or the New Zealand team and the actual penalty which should apply is not the issue.

``Both FIBA and ourselves are signatories to the code and as part of that agree to “mutually recognise” the decisions of each other,’’ Steel said.

Following a test conducted by Drug free Sport NZ under its national programme Mark Dickel had his case heard by the independently constituted Sports Disputes Tribunal which reached a decision according to the requirements of the code.

“Our view is that the only recourse available to FIBA was to appeal the decision of the Sports Disputes Tribunal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

``While we have sighted the FIBA decision and rules which have been implemented we do not see how the Code gives them any provision to re-hear the case and replace the decision of the New Zealand Tribunal with their own,’’ Steel said.

“We are keen to make a measured response and have decided that the best way forward is to seek explanation from FIBA before any further action is contemplated,” Steel said.

ENDS

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