JED-FOREST player Blake Roff has been banned for two years after being found guilty of possession of Clenbuterol by a New Zealand Rugby Judicial Committee. The Kiwi back-rower bought the drug (which is a banned substance under World Anti-Doping Regulations except with a valid therapeutic use exemption) online in December 2014 while still living and playing rugby in his native Southland.
He was identified after Drug Free Sport New Zealand [DFSNZ] investigated an online supplier trading under the name ‘Clenbuterol NZ’ in 2017 and accessed its customer database, resulting in proceedings being brought against several athletes and subsequent bans enforced.
Roff admitted the possession and use (or attempted use) of the prohibited substance, telling the judicial committee that he purchased it in the hope it would assist with his asthma condition.
The committee issued the two-year sanction, which is effective worldwide and across all sports, backdated backdated to 29th May 2018 to take account of delays in the allegations being heard. As a registered player in Scotland, Roff will be unavailable to Jed-Forest until May 2020.
“Scottish Rugby continues to operate a zero-tolerance approach to all use of prohibited substances,” said a spokesperson for the governing body. “We are proactively using intelligence led testing and working with other international agencies to find those taking banned substances and remove them from the game.
“There is a comprehensive education programme in place and it is the player’s own responsibility to be aware of which substances are prohibited and ensure they compete clean.”
Clenbuterol is a steroid-like chemical that was initially developed to treat asthma in horses, working by relaxing the airways in the animals’ lungs.