Demonising Justin Gatlin
13th September 2015
Football player Conner Duthie has been suspended from all sport for a period of two years following an Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV). Mr Duthie provided a urine sample In-Competition on 16 March 2019, following a SPFL Scottish League One football match between Stenhousemuir FC and Stranraer FC, at Ochilview Park in Stenhousemuir. Analysis of Mr Duthie’s sample returned an Adverse Analytical Finding (AAF) for carboxy-THC, a metabolite of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive compound found in cannabis.
Pat Myhill, UK Anti-Doping Director of Operations said: “Cannabis is prohibited in sport due to the various psychological and physiological effects it can have on athletes. Whilst its use Out-of-Competition is not prohibited in sport, it is prohibited if found in a sample given In-Competition. As the substance can remain in an athlete’s system for a long time, this case shows that there is a very real risk of a ban from sport if you choose to use this substance, even outside of competing.
“Athletes are solely responsible for what is in their system, regardless of how they claim it got there and whether there was an intention to cheat or not. Our message to athletes is clear, it is not worth the risk.”
The independent expert witness in this case considered that the sample analysis was in accord with cannabis ingestion that took place Out-of-Competition. This means that the applicable ban is two years. THC is listed under section S8 (Cannabinoid) of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) 2019 Prohibited List. It is a Specified Substance and its presence in a sample is prohibited In-Competition only.
Mr Duthie was charged with violating Scottish Football Association Anti-Doping Regulation Article 2.1 – “Presence of a Prohibited Substance or its Metabolites or Markers in a Player’s Sample”. The period of Ineligibility to be applied in accordance with Anti-Doping Regulation Article 10.2.2 in these circumstances is two years. Acknowledging Mr Duthie’s timely admission of the ADRV, the period of Ineligibility started on 16 March 2019 and will end on 15 March 2021.
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