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U.S. Rugby Athlete Riekert Hattingh Accepts Sanction for Anti-Doping Rule Violation

Rugby ballUSADA announced today that Riekert Hattingh, of Sylvania, Ohio, an athlete in the sport of rugby, has accepted a six-month period of ineligibility for an anti-doping rule violation.

Hattingh, 28, tested positive for tamoxifen as the result of a sample collected out of competition on March 27, 2022. Tamoxifen is a Specified Substance in the class of Hormone and Metabolic Modulators and is prohibited at all times under the USADA Protocol for Olympic and Paralympic Movement Testing, the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee National Anti-Doping Policies, and the World Rugby Anti-Doping Rules, all of which have adopted the World Anti-Doping Code (the Code) and the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List.

After a thorough review of the case, including the examination of medical records provided by the athlete, USADA determined that Hattingh’s positive test was caused by a medication prescribed in a therapeutic dose under the care of a physician. Although the substance was taken at the direction of a physician and satisfied the requirements for a prospective Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE), the Code requires that athletes obtain a TUE before using a prohibited substance, which Hattingh failed to do. Hattingh has since discontinued use of this medication.

Under the World Anti-Doping Code, an athlete’s period of ineligibility for using a prohibited substance may be decreased if the athlete lacks significant fault for the anti-doping rule violation. In this instance, USADA determined that Hattingh’s reduced degree of fault justified a reduction to six months.

Hattingh accepted a six-month period of ineligibility that began on August 4, 2022, the date he accepted this sanction. In addition, Hattingh’s competitive results obtained on March 27, 2022, the date his positive sample was collected, have been disqualified, including forfeiture of any medals, points and prizes.

In an effort to aid athletes, as well as support team members such as parents and coaches, in understanding the rules applicable to them, USADA provides comprehensive instruction on its website on the testing process and prohibited substances, how to file and update athlete Whereabouts, how to obtain permission to use a necessary medication, and the risks and dangers of taking supplements, as well as performance-enhancing and recreational drugs.

In addition, USADA manages a drug reference hotline, Global Drug Reference Online (www.GlobalDRO.com), conducts educational sessions with National Governing Bodies and their athletes, and distributes a multitude of educational materials, such as a supplement guide, a nutrition guide, a clean sport handbook, and periodic alerts and advisories.

USADA makes available a number of ways to report the abuse of performance-enhancing drugs in sport in an effort to protect clean athletes and promote clean competition. Any tip can be reported using the USADA Play Clean Tip Center, by text at 87232 (“USADA”), by email at playclean@USADA.org, by phone at 1-877-Play Clean (1-877-752-9253) or by mail.

USADA is responsible for the testing and results management process for athletes in the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement and is equally dedicated to preserving the integrity of sport through research initiatives and educational programs.

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