13th February 2020

Gymnast suspended for two years for anti-doping rule violation

The Sports Tribunal has suspended Batuhan Yazici, a gymnast, for a period of two years after returning a positive test result for the presence of methylphenidate metabolite Ritalinic acid, which is a specified substance prohibited in competition. On 15 November 2019, Mr Yazici was provisionally suspended without opposition. He elected to have his ‘B’ sample tested, which subsequently confirmed the result of the original test. He subsequently admitted the violation.

On 10 February 2020, the parties filed a joint memorandum proposing an appropriate sanction. The presumptive two year period of ineligibility applied in circumstances where it was a first violation and intention was not established. The memorandum submitted that it was appropriate to backdate the period of ineligibility to the date of the test, based on Mr Yazici’s timely admission of the violation. The memorandum stated counsels’ view that a finding of lack of intention was properly available to the Tribunal.

The Tribunal considered the violation and the evidence provided by Mr Yazici. It concluded that while his taking of the prohibited substances was imprudent, he had taken them to assist in writing an essay and not to gain a performance advantage. Having considered all available material, the Tribunal agreed to impose a two year sanction period backdated to commence from 5 October 2019, being the date that the test was conducted.

• This media release was published by the Sports Tribunal of New Zealand (STNZ) on 13 February. Click here for the original, and click here for the Full Decision.

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