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Mana Whanonga Pirihimana Motuhake

Police Inspector attempts to import performance enhancing drug

12 June 2020

The Authority oversaw a Police employment investigation after an officer attempted to import Erythropoietin (EPO) into New Zealand. The officer used his Police email account when ordering the substance online. He also used his Police email for personal reasons when communicating with a Medsafe investigator and thereafter when the officer made enquiries with the organiser of a non-competitive endurance race. The officer received a warning from Medsafe for the attempted importation and he was also banned from competitive athletics for a period of 4 years.

Police found that the officer breached their Code of Conduct by attempting to import EPO and because he used his Police email account when placing the online order for the substance. The investigation found that the officer intended to use EPO to treat a legitimate medical condition and Police accepted he had no intention to cheat at sport. The investigation found that the officer's uses of Police email to communicate with Medsafe and with the race organiser were acceptable.

In its independent review, the Authority disagreed with the Police's findings in respect of the officer's knowledge of EPO and his intentions when ordering the substance. The Authority determined the officer attempted to import EPO with the intention of improving his blood oxygen levels, in the knowledge that this was a banned substance and would improve his performance as an endurance athlete.

The Authority also found that the officer breached policy when he used his Police email to communicate with Medsafe and with the race organiser.

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