Rugby union player receives sanction

  • Doping Violation Update

Sport Integrity Australia acknowledges the decision of Rugby Australia to impose a one-month ban on athlete Max Girdler for the presence of a prohibited substance and its metabolite.

Mr Girdler, a rugby union player for Warringah Rugby Club, returned an Adverse Analytical Finding (AAF) from an in-competition doping control test after a Rugby Union Shute Shield match on 5 June 2021.

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

Rugby Australia imposed a one-month ban on Mr Girdler commencing on 23 July 2021, consistent with Article of the 2021 World Anti-Doping Code (Substances of Abuse).

Mr Girdler was ineligible to participate in any sports that have adopted a World Anti-Doping Code compliant anti-doping policy until 23 August 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 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

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