Wellington, Jan 9, 2018 (AFP) – – Two former New Zealand representatives are among four players suspended for doping offences, the country’s rugby authorities said Wednesday.
Zoe Berry played one Test for the Black Ferns against England in 2012, and Glen Robertson turned out for the New Zealand under-20 side in 2010 and 2011 and is a former member of the New Zealand Sevens squad.
Both were suspended for four years.
The two others, Ben Qauqau-Dodds and Rhys Pedersen, both played at senior club level.
Qauqau-Dodds is listed as the grandson of a former Fiji representative while Pedersen was voted the “best and fairest” club player in Manawatu province last year.
Qauqau-Dodds received a two-year ban and Pedersen was suspended for 21 months.
“What this investigation has revealed is that there is a lot of ignorance in our community game on the issue of performance-enhancing drugs,” New Zealand Rugby general manager Neil Sorensen said.
“What has happened to these four rugby players serves as a reminder that all athletes have to be very careful about what they put into their bodies.”
Berry, Pedersen, and Robertson were accused of possessing and in some cases the use or attempted use of Clenbuterol, a stimulant. Qauqau-Dodds was charged with possession and use or attempted use of anabolic steroid Metandienone.
They all pleaded guilty to at least one of the alleged offences.
The charges were laid by Drug Free Sport New Zealand, which enforces World Anti-Doping Agency codes, and follows an investigation into the website Clenbuterol NZ.
It identified a number of athletes from a range of sporting codes as making purchases from the website in 2014 and 2015.