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Irish swimmer Robbie Powell banned for anti-doping violation

Stephen Doyle
Stephen Doyle

14:42 24 Jun 2020

Irish swimmer Robbie Powell has accepted a 12-month ban for an anti-doping violation which he successfully argues was unintentional.

This afternoon Sport Ireland and Swim Ireland revealed that an out-of-competition sample taken from Powell last year contained the prohibited substance clostebol.

The sample was taken from the Athlone native on 28 November last and after the positive test, he did not ask for the B sample to be tested and accepted the ban which has been backated to 28 November.

Clostebol is listed within the banned substance category of anabolic agents, according to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

Powell explained that he has suffered with eczema since he was a child and mistakenly applied a topical cream called Trofodermin, which contains clostebol, instead of his intended cream Denvercort which contains no banned substances.

He provided a statement from his GP, witness statement and WhatsApp messages exchanged between him and his mother and other messages he exchanged with a coach during the hearing.

"The athlete provided detailed submissions, along with supporting briefs of documentation, jurisprudence and evidence in relation to how Clostebol came to be his his system on the issues of intent and No Significant Fault or Negligence," reads Sport Ireland’s summary.

Sport Ireland adds that it "is satisfied that the Athlete has established that he bore No Significant Fault or Negligence.

"This means that the otherwise applicable period of ineligibility (2 years) can be reduced by up to one half, depending on his degree of fault."

Sport Ireland's reasoned decision pursuant to Article 7.6.4 is available here.

Robbie Powell released a statement that reads: "I acknowledge my mistake and apologise sincerely to my supporters,  my team colleagues and coaches.

"It is important to note that this was an honest mistake. Sport Ireland has confirmed that there was no intention to infringe the regulations which I fully support and have always been very careful to adhere to.

"I have always attended anti-doping sessions and will continue to do so. There was no performance enhancing effects whatsoever.

"I have been training for the past 10 years to get to this point in my career, and I am very aware the strict regulations that are in place.

"I would like to mention the courtesy shown towards me by Sport Ireland during this process which has been a very difficult few months."

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