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Jarryd Hayne was never in danger of missing Olympics due to WADA restrictions

The Roar The Roar 18/05/2016 Patrick Effeney

WADA have confirmed that there was never any real doubt that Jarryd Hayne would have been ineligible for the Olympic Games. © AAP Image/Lloyd Jones WADA have confirmed that there was never any real doubt that Jarryd Hayne would have been ineligible for the Olympic Games. WADA have confirmed that there was never any real doubt that Jarryd Hayne would have been ineligible for the Olympic Games under the anti-doping code that rules both the Olympic Games and World Rugby.

I wrote at length a couple of days ago about the issues raised by former ASADA boss Richard Ings around Hayne’s eligibility for competition at Rio.

Ings had a point. Nothing in the code covered sport switchers, especially in non-WADA-compliant leagues such as the NFL. He pointed that if someone had retired from a sport with a registered testing pool, then wanted to restart in a different sport, also with a registered testing pool, he would have to wait the six months as dictated by the code.

But it turns out that’s not how the code was to be interpreted in this case.

WADA spokesperson Maggie Durand told The Roar that the rules were such that Jarryd Hayne could not be considered a retired athlete as a code switcher, thus would not have to submit to the six-month testing requirement.

“There is no rule under 2015 Code and International Standards, nor for the Rio Games under the International Olympic Committee Anti-Doping Rules, that makes it mandatory for an athlete , planning to take part in the Olympics (or another international competition), to be available for testing six months ahead of the competition.

“Under the Code, there is only such a rule for an athlete that is in a Registered Testing Pool (RTP) for a Code signatory sport, then retires and wants to return to competition. In this case, he/she must give six months prior written notice to his IF, NADO and WADA ahead of the competition. (Code Article 5.7.1)

“In the case of Jarryd Hayne, we understand that he has not retired from Rugby Union, but rather from Rugby League, and so WADA has been in touch with World Rugby who advise us that upon selection for Fiji, and passing appropriate eligibility rules, he will be put in a RTP.”

So he wasn’t retired from rugby union, and he’s free to enter the testing pool like all Fijian sevens players. He’s just one of the crew, now.

This follows World Rugby’s statement from a day ago that Hayne would indeed be eligible.

“World Rugby is committed to the highest-possible anti-doping standards. The WADA-compliant World Rugby Regulation 21 mirrors the requirements of the World Anti-Doping Code and the WADA International Standard for Testing and Investigations,” the statement read.

“It does not require a player to be included in a testing pool for a defined period of time prior to selection if they are being selected for international competition for the first time.”

So there you go. There was nothing to fear about Jarryd after all. However for a brief moment, the code did have us all worried.

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