Press releases 6th October 2020

Retired boxer Machaj banned for four years

Professional boxer Adam Machaj has been banned from all sport for a period of four years following a first Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV) for the use of banned substances.  On 7 January 2018, an episode of the Channel 4 TV programme “SAS: Who Dares Wins”, which featured Mr Machaj was broadcast. In the episode, Mr Machaj was questioned about Clomid tablets, which were found among his possessions. A day after the broadcast, Mr Machaj’s representative approached UKAD for information about how to apply for a retroactive Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) for clomifene.

The retroactive TUE process revealed that Mr Machaj had been taking other banned substances including anastrozole and testosterone and had lied about taking them when renewing his British Boxing Board of Control (BBBoC) licence and in pre-contest medical assessments. UKAD issued Mr Machaj with a Notice of Charge on 2 December 2019. Mr Machaj admitted the charges, but disputed the sanction claiming that he took the substances to deal with a medical condition. Mr Machaj applied for a retroactive TUE three times, but his applications were unsuccessful.

Speaking on the ban, UKAD’s Deputy Director of Operations Hamish Coffey said, “This case was unusual in that it came to light in such a public way. It is important that athletes and the general public see that UKAD is taking action to remove those who take banned substances from sport and the sporting environment, to protect the integrity of sport and places such as training centres and gyms.

“The TUE system exists to ensure that those with legitimate medical conditions can apply for permission to use medications, which are otherwise banned. This case shows the process for applying for a TUE is thorough and robust, and that a very strict criteria must be satisfied before a TUE is granted.”

The matter was referred to the National Anti-Doping Panel (NADP) and heard by an independent tribunal. The tribunal of the NADP gave Mr Machaj a four-year ban. In view of his early admissions, Mr Machaj’s four-year ban started on 14 November 2018 and will expire at midnight on 13 November 2022. The tribunal also disqualified all of Mr Machaj’s results in contests since September 2015.

Technical terms

Clomifene and anastrozole are listed under section S4 Hormone and Metabolic Modulators of the WADA 2016 Prohibited List, 2017 Prohibited List and 2018 Prohibited List, which state that they are Specified Substances and are banned at all times. Testosterone is listed under section S1 Anabolic Agents of the WADA 2016 Prohibited List, 2017 Prohibited List and 2018 Prohibited List, which state that it is banned at all times.

Mr Machaj was charged with violating Article 2.2 of the Anti-Doping Rules – “Use or Attempted Use by an Athlete of a Prohibited Substance or a Prohibited Method, unless the Athlete establishes that the Use or Attempted Use is consistent with a TUE granted in accordance with Article 4”.

UKAD v Machaj – Decision

• This media release was published by UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) on 6 October 2020. Click here for the original.

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