Water Polo athlete receives sanction

  • Doping Violation Update

Sport Integrity Australia acknowledges the decision of Water Polo Australia to impose a three-month ban on athlete Matthew Murphy for the presence of a metabolite of a prohibited substance.

Mr Murphy returned an Adverse Analytical Finding (AAF) from an in-competition doping control test on 22 February 2020.

His sample was analysed at the Australian Sports Drug Testing Laboratory, part of the National Measurement Institute, which detected the presence of Benzoylecgonine (a metabolite of Cocaine).

Mr Murphy was sanctioned for the anti-doping rule violation (ADRV) under the Australian National Anti-Doping Policy 2021, with the decision and imposition of sanction coming into effect on 1 January 2021 (when the Australian National Anti-Doping Policy 2021 commenced).

As of 1 January 2021, if an athlete tests positive to a substance of abuse (such as marijuana or cocaine), then the athlete’s ban from sport may be reduced to 3 months if the athlete is able to prove that the substance was used out-of-competition and that its use was unrelated to sporting performance. This was proven.

As such, Water Polo Australia imposed a three-month ban on Mr Murphy, consistent with Article of the Australian National Anti-Doping Policy 2021 (Substances of Abuse).

Mr Murphy was ineligible to participate in any sports that have adopted a World Anti-Doping Code compliant anti-doping policy until 1 January 2021.


Cocaine is classed as an S6 stimulant on the Prohibited List and is prohibited in-competition. It is also classed as a Substance of Abuse under the Prohibited List.

Generally, cocaine produces an intense ‘rush’ with users feeling a sense of euphoria, alertness, arousal, and increased confidence. Many users find the drug addictive and may face a number of short- and long-term health problems including an irregular heartbeat, chest pain, kidney failure, and seizures or stroke.

Sport Integrity Australia is committed to protecting the right of clean athletes to fair competition.

If you are aware of any suspicious doping activity, you can: 

Sport Integrity Australia recommends athletes check substances and medications before taking them and to follow our advice on any sport supplements

The Sport Integrity app provides a useful resource for athletes and support staff to check substances and medications. Additionally, it provides information on how to find batch-tested supplements or see if a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) is required.

The Sport Integrity app is available for free download via the App Store and on Google Play

Related information