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Last Updated: Monday, 25 February 2008, 11:38 GMT
MacLeod cleared of positive test
Scotland lock Scott MacLeod
MacLeod shows off the inhaler that caused him to fail a dope test
Scotland rugby forward Scott MacLeod has been cleared of failing a doping test after taking a controlled asthma medicine without permission.

MacLeod was cleared by an independent judicial committee after testing positive for Terbutaline at Scotland training in January.

The lock, 28, has avoided a one-year ban but been warned and reprimanded.

"I'm not a cheat and I'm pleased that the panel accepted that I'd used Terbutaline inadvertently," he said.

Terbutaline is on the World Anti-Doping Code Prohibited list unless, when administered by inhalation, a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) has been obtained in advance.

The 16-times-capped lock was tested by national anti-doping organisation UK Sport, as part of Scottish Rugby's no-notice doping control tests, at a Scotland training session last month.

UK Sport then contacted Scottish Rugby on 14 February with the result of the urine sample, and MacLeod opted to attend an independent judicial hearing last Monday.

A statement released by Scottish Rugby said: "The judicial committee accepted that MacLeod's use of the drug was not intended to enhance performance.

"In the circumstances the player was administered the minimum sanction of a warning and a reprimand."

The player had previously obtained a TUE for Terbutaline.

I'm not a cheat and I'm pleased that the panel accepted that I'd used Terbutaline inadvertently.

Scott MacLeod

But at the time his current medical declaration form was issued in 2006, he was using an alternative called Salbutamol, as Terbutaline was unavailable.

And MacLeod explained he refers to the medicine by one of its brand names, Bricanyl.

"I actually specified at the time I gave the urine sample that I was taking Bricanyl, so it was quite a shock," he said.

"I thought the main thing on the TUE form was specifying that I have asthma and that I take a reliever. It was just a silly thing like that.

"I've had asthma since I was a toddler and I've never left the house without an inhaler since the age of five.

"I definitely couldn't play sports without having one on me at all times.

"I'm just glad it's over and I certainly won't make the same mistake again."

Now the Llanelli Scarlets forward is eager that other athletes learn from his error.

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"Hopefully other players will be a bit more savvy given what's happened to me," he said.

"I want to put this behind me now and concentrate on the job in hand with the national team."

Scarlets chief executive Stuart Gallacher said common sense had prevailed but warned about avoiding a repeat in the future.

"Scott changed his medication without permission, but I'm delighted the independent panel have accepted his word," he said.

"It's not an enhancement drug by any means so fair play has been had.

"It was a genuine error, however, he needs to be very careful in the future."



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