News 22nd May 2015

Drug-Free Sport NZ formally recognises Murray ban

Drug-Free Sport New Zealand (DFSNZ) has formally recognised a January 2014 two-year ban issued by the New Caledonia Anti-Doping Commission to cyclist Karl Murray. Murray (pictured) was tested during the Tour of New Caledonia during October 2013, and was informed of the ban whilst on holiday in New Caledonia in January 2014. However, as the New Caledonia Anti-Doping Commission is not a signatory to the World Anti-Doping Code, his ban runs from 23 April 2014, understood to be the date of a meeting with the Oceania Regional Anti-Doping Organisation (RADO), which issued the ban.

DFSNZ confirmed that Murray had tested positive for testosterone and nandrolone, stating that his ban would end on 7 April 2016. ‘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’, read a DFSNZ statement. ‘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’. DFSNZ CEO, Graeme Steel, said that the delay in confirming Murray’s ban was due to the organisation needing 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’, continued the statement.

“There’s no place in sport for performance enhancing drugs and we’re disappointed that a New Zealand athlete has tested positive for steroids”, Steel said in the DFSNZ statement. “Athletes need to know that they can be tested anywhere and at any time and they shouldn’t think they won’t get caught”.

Earlier this year, Murray argued that the positive test was due to supplement use. ‘At the time of the Tour of New Caledonia, I was taking a number of supplements, none of which I thought to be illegal or containing banned substances’, read a 25 February 2015 statement. ‘Following my results being disclosed to me I had one of the supplements tested and it was found to contain testosterone and two esters [byproducts] of testosterone, all of which were not listed on the label of Hydroxycut Hardcore X. It was clear to me that this supplement was the cause of the positive test for testosterone, at least. Further, I strongly believe that the contamination/mislabelling of either this supplement, or one of the others I was taking, was the cause of the presence of the metabolites/indicators of nandrolone in my test result also. Unfortunately, however, I was not able to undertake testing of other supplements, as I no longer had samples of the supplements for testing.’

DFSNZ warned that Murray’s ban extended to coaching. “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”, said Steel in the DFSNZ statement. “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”. A statement from Cycling New Zealand supported the ban.

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