This is a terrible anti-doping defense

“My Teammate Injected a Mexican Supplement in My Ass and I did not Read the Label” Is Not a Good Anti Doping Defense

This week a tribunal released a written decision upholding a UK Anti Doping two year ban handed to boxer Eric Molina who tested positive for Dexamethasone after his December 10, 2016 bout against Anthony Joshua.

Dexamethasone is a ‘specified substance‘ and is only banned in competition under the UK Anti Doping rules. It brings a baseline suspension of two years unless intentional doping can be proven in which case the penalty can be doubled.  The penalty can be reduced in cases of no-fault or reduced-fault or negligence and herein lies the decision of UKAD v. Molina.

UKAD did not argue this was a case of intentional doping and asked for a two-year ban.  Molina agreed he ingested the prohibited substance but did so with no fault or reduced fault and accordingly wished for a reduced suspension.

In short Molina’s evidence of how the substance came to be in his body was that, “I sent my brother to Mexico to get B12 for this past fight and he ended up bringing me a different brand of B12 and I had no idea that this B12 had dexamethasone in it.“ The tribunal noted that Molina “admitted that one of his team injected him with “Tribedoce DX”, a vitamin B12 supplement, in his “rear” and that “the Tribunal does have a photo of that pack and can see the list of ingredients (which, whilst in Spanish, include “Dexametasona” as an ingredient.”

In rejecting that these circumstances meet the test for no or reduced negligence the Tribunal reasoned as follows:

Author Erik Magraken is a British Columbia litigation lawyer, combat sports law consultant, founder of the Combat Law Sports Blog, and profoundly appreciated UGer.