Four New Zealand rugby players have been handed lengthy bans for doping offences, including a former Black Fern and an Under-20 international.
Zoe Berry, who played one Test for the New Zealand women’s team against England in 2012, has been given a four-year suspension, along with Glen Roberton – who represented the All Blacks’ youth side as well as the Sevens team.
Ben Pedersen, a club-level player, has also been suspended for two years.
All three were banned for possessing and in some cases using or attempting to use the banned drug Clenbuterol, which aids fat loss but is on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s prohibited list.
The fourth player, Ben Qauqau-Dodds, was charged with possession and use or attempted use of the anabolic steroid metandienone, and was hit with a 21-month ban.
As well as being on Wada’s prohibited substance list, the drugs are also stated among New Zealand Sports Anti-Doping Rules. All four individuals – who were playing club rugby at the time of the offences – pleaded guilty to at least one of the offences.
New Zealand Rugby’s general manager, Neil Sorensen, said in a statement: “This serves as a reminder that all athletes have to be very careful about what they put into their bodies.”