The 2014 Commonwealth Games 5000m bronze medallist, Zane Robertson has been slapped with eight years for Presence of prohibited substances Erythropoietin (EPO), a banned substance, and tampering with the doping control process.
The 33 year-old had said that he had received EPO during treatment for Covid-19 at a Kenyan medical facility, where he had gone for a vaccination, but the Drug Free Sport New Zealand (DFSNZ) conducted investigations into his claims and found that he had not been administered EPO at the facility and that the medical notes were falsified. DFSNZ also alleged that Robertson’s statements and supporting documents included falsified documents and false testimony, which is a breach of Rule 2.5 (tampering).
The Secretary General of the New Zealand Olympic Committee, Nicki Nicol, expressed disappointment in Robertson’s actions and condemned all forms of doping. She acknowledged the commitment of DFSNZ, Athletics NZ, and HPSNZ to supporting New Zealand athletes who compete cleanly, and thanked them for extending well-being support to Robertson.
The Iten base athlete who trains with his twin brother Jake Robertson, eight-year period of ineligibility is the only limit for the tribunal, as the first two ADRVs carry a four-year sanction, and the tampering violation carries a four-year period that must be served in addition to the original ADRVs.
EPO is on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s prohibited list and is banned at all times.