Six-month bans for opposing rugby league players for doping in same game

Stacey Mikara received a six-month suspension.

Stacey Mikara received a six-month suspension.

Two rugby league players from opposing teams in the same game have been handed a six-month ban from all sport after testing positive for cannabis.

Southland's Stacey Mikara and Taranaki's Travell Ngatoko were representing their respective sides in a New Zealand Rugby League National Championship game in September last year, the Sports Tribunal of New Zealand said.

Ngatoko and Mikara were both suspended for for six months for the presence of a metabolite of cannabis in a concentration higher than that permitted under the World Anti-Doping Agency's Prohibited List.

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Drug Free Sport NZ Chief Executive Graeme Steel said the two cases are yet another reminder to athletes that cannabis and other recreational drugs are prohibited in sporting competition.

"It's important for athletes from all codes and at all levels to recognise that social drugs and competitive sport do not mix," Steel said.

"The threshold for reporting cannabis was raised a few years ago, and these are the first cases that we've seen since then.

"The two cases highlight the fact that athletes can be tested at any time and there are severe consequences if they break the rules."

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 - Stuff

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