Drug Free Sport New Zealand welcomes CAS decision on cyclist Karl Murray


Cyclist Karl Murray has received a two-year restart of his first anti-doping rule violation (ADRV) after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) found in favour of Drug Free Sport New Zealand (DFSNZ) who alleged he coached two young cyclists while serving his ban, in breach of the rules.

Mr Murray had initially been banned from all sport for two years by the New Caledonia Anti-Doping Commission in 2014, following a positive test for nandrolone and testosterone while competing.

This CAS decision has found that in 2014-2015 Mr Murray was coaching two young athletes (members of Cycling New Zealand and one of whom was a minor at the time) while serving the ban. The decision recognises that ‘Sports Anti-Doping Rule 10.12.1: Prohibition Against Participation During Ineligibility’ includes coaching as a prohibited activity while banned.

The CAS decision means Mr Murray is required to restart his two-year ban from all sport from 15 December 2017, being the date of the CAS decision.  He is entitled to receive credit for the period of time he served under provisional suspension, prior to the original Sports Tribunal hearing. 

“No-one is above the rules and Mr Murray’s conduct has been particularly egregious given the involvement of young athletes. When an athlete or support person deliberately breaks the rules, we are duty bound to take action against them,” DFSNZ chief executive Nick Paterson says.

“At the time Mr Murray’s initial ban was recognised, it was made very clear to him that coaching or training any cyclists who are bound to the NZ Sports Anti-Doping Rules would be in breach of his ban,” he says.

“We have spent a considerable amount of time and resources investigating this matter and it would have been impossible to prove without the cooperation and commitment of key witnesses who persisted through two disciplinary processes.”

DFSNZ appealed the case to CAS after the Sports Tribunal of New Zealand found in favour of the athlete in late 2016.

Mr Murray has subsequently returned another positive test for the prohibited substance clenbuterol (an anabolic agent) following a cycling event in March 2017. In October 2017, the Sports Tribunal of New Zealand found that this constituted another ADRV. As this is Mr Murray’s second ADRV, a decision on a further sanction from the Sports Tribunal is expected in early 2018.