8 Nov 2013

New Zealand sevens player banned

4:19 pm on 8 November 2013

The former New Zealand rugby sevens player Lavinia Gould has been banned for two years after testing positive for a banned stimulant at a tournament in Dubai in December last year.

Gould tested positive for MHA, which is classified by WADA as performance-enhancing, but is only prohibited while players are taking part in competitions.

New Zealand Rugby Chief Executive Steve Tew says they're disappointed this has happened as they invest heavily in education to ensure players understand their obligations and the risks around taking supplements.

Traces of MHA were found in a dietary supplement Gould was using during the tournament.

It wasn't a supplement supplied by New Zealand Rugby.

Gould played one IRB tournament for New Zealand in 2012 as part of the women's sevens talent identification programme.

Her suspension is backdated from her provisional suspension and ends on 10 January 2015.

The ban is likely to hamper her chances of gaining selection for the Rio 2016 Olympics.