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Wallabies and Queensland Reds prop James Slipper has been sanctioned over violations of the Rugby Australia Illicit Drugs Policy.
Slipper returned two positive tests for cocaine taken from urine samples between February and May 2018.
Under the provisions of the Rugby Australia Illicit Drugs Policy the first instance of a positive test remains confidential between the player, the Rugby Australia Integrity Unit, and medical staff. It is treated purely as a health and welfare issue and the player is provided with the appropriate medical support and placed in a target testing pool.
A second violation attracts a mandatory period of ineligibility and is referred to a Drugs Tribunal for consideration.
The Tribunal conducted its hearing at the Rugby Australia Building last Thursday with Slipper joining the hearing via teleconference. The panel consisted of Judge Mark Williams SC of the NSW Supreme Court (and a member of the Court of Arbitration for Sport), barrister Mr Terry Willis and sports lawyer, Mr Stephen Cottrell.
The Tribunal has now submitted its written determination, ordering the mandatory minimum period of ineligibility of two (2) months and a fine of $27,500 having carefully considered Slipper’s personal circumstances, his service to club and country and previous good character.
Rugby Australia Chief Executive, Raelene Castle said: “We are extremely disappointed to be in this position today with one of our most senior international players having submitted two positive tests for cocaine.
“We are fully aware that James is dealing with very significant personal issues and we have been working with him since February on these matters. We are ensuring that James is receiving full help and support, including specialist medical treatment.
“James has expressed his sincere remorse for his actions and for placing himself, Rugby Australia and the Reds in this very difficult situation. It is an incredibly challenging time for him and his family and our immediate focus is on James’ health and wellbeing while he undertakes an enforced period away from the sport."