Rugby union athlete receives sanction

  • Doping Violation Update

Sport Integrity Australia (SIA) acknowledges that Rugby Australia (RA) has imposed a one year and six months ban on athlete Kane Koteka for the Presence and Use of a Prohibited Substance. 

Mr Koteka, a Rugby Union player contracted to Western Force in the Super Rugby Pacific Competition at the time, returned an Adverse Analytical Finding (AAF) from an Out-of-Competition doping control test on 16 December 2022. 

Mr Koteka’s sample was analysed at the Australian Sports Drug Testing Laboratory, part of the National Measurement Institute, and the presence of Ostarine (Enobosarm) was detected. 

The substance Ostarine (Enobosarm) is listed under Class S1.2 (Other Anabolic Agents) under the World Anti-Doping Code – International Standard – Prohibited List – 2022 (Prohibited List 2022). The substance Ostarine (Enobosarm) is a Non-Specified Substance and is prohibited at all times.  

SIA determined that on and/or before 16 December 2022 Mr Koteka Used a Prohibited Substance, namely Ostarine (Enobosarm). 

However, SIA also determined, that Mr Koteka had established, to a ‘balance of probability’ standard, that the presence of the Prohibited Substance in Mr Koteka’s system and the Use of Ostarine (Enobosarm) was likely due to cross-contamination which occurred in a private setting, and that Mr Koteka:

  • Did not use the Prohibited Substance intentionally;
  • Did not engage in conduct that he knew constituted an Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV); and
  • Did not manifestly disregard a significant risk that he may be engaging in conduct that might result in an ADRV.

As a result, Mr Koteka’s base period of Ineligibility was two years on account of the lack of intentionality and this was further reduced by six months on account of Mr Koteka having established ‘No Significant Fault or Negligence’ applied.

The reduced ban of one year and six months commenced on 3 February 2023.

Mr Koteka is ineligible to participate in any sports that have adopted a World Anti-Doping Code compliant anti-doping policy until 3 August 2024. He is also not permitted to compete in competitions authorised by any non-signatory professional league or any international or national-level Event organisation or any elite or national-level sporting activity funded by a governmental agency.

Additional information on the prohibited substance  

Ostarine (Enobosarm), also known as MK-2866, is a Selective Androgen Receptor Modulator (SARM) and is not approved for human use. 

SARMs are claimed to be substances that induce muscle (and bone) growth without the side effects associated with steroid use. However, the medium and long-term health impacts are unknown due to a lack of medium and long-term clinical trials.

It should be noted that a number of SARMs have associated health-risks, particularly for the heart and liver.

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