Taylor Hooton Foundation > Hoot’s Corner > General > New Zealand: Weightlifting coach banned for doping violations
December 1, 2014
New Zealand: Weightlifting coach banned for doping violations
A Kiwi weightlifting coach has been banned from all sport for six years after admitting charges of trafficking and possession of prohibited substances. Daniel Milne admitted both charges before the Sports Tribunal, which released its judgment today in what is the first anti-doping violation of attempted trafficking in New Zealand. Drug Free Sport New Zealand chief executive Graeme Steel applauded the lengthy ban and said it served as a warning to coaches who encourage or assist with doping. “Coaches are there to support and inspire athletes, not to drag them into the mire of cheating through drug use. It’s unacceptable for a coach to compromise an athlete’s integrity, health and sporting career in this way and I’m pleased the tribunal has recognised this by delivering a tough sanction,” Steel said. In December 2012, at a party, Milne offered to supply steroids and other performance enhancing prohibited substances to a 19-year-old weightlifter (X) he was coaching so that X could improve his competitive performance. In its judgment, the tribunal said Milne held a party at his house where he showed X some products, offered to source them for X and show X how to use them. X subsequently declined and told another coach. This led to Drug Free Sport New Zealand carrying out investigations and referring the matter to the tribunal. Milne initially denied the allegations, but ultimately admitted two anti-doping rule violations, namely possessing and attempted trafficking (selling, giving, delivering or distributing) a prohibited substance. The minimum penalty for attempted trafficking is four years’ suspension from sport with a maximum penalty of a life ban. The tribunal noted there were aggravating factors including that the violations happened within an athlete and coach relationship, X was a young man who should have received mentoring and support, and this was not a one-off spontaneous mistake but reflected Milne’s unacceptable attitude towards use of prohibited substances. However, there were mitigating factors. Milne eventually admitted the violations and accepted responsibility for what occurred, meaning X and other witnesses didn’t have to give evidence at the hearing. He was contrite and ashamed, the tribunal said, and had made positive contributions to the sport. The tribunal stated that “the fundamental attack on the integrity of all sporting contests demands that the breach is not minimised”. X’s courage in coming forward to report Milne was admirable, Steel said. “It takes enormous strength of character to come forward to report someone in a position of authority, such as a coach. This young athlete is to be commended for his bravery and in my view he’s a role model for clean sport. I hope other athletes will be inspired by his conviction to do the right thing and out someone involved in doping.” Milne’s ban means he will not be allowed to be involved in any form of sport for the six years of his ban, either as a competitor, coach or trainer. http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/other-sports/63716666/weightlifting-coach-daniel-milne-banned-for-doping-violations