Mitchell Spackman, 27, has been banned from rugby until December 1, 2013, after buying growth hormone releasing peptide (GHRP-6) via the internet.

Spackman, who has been playing grade football for almost 10 years, insists he didn't know GHRP-6 was illegal in Australia and his only crime was naivety.

''It's a joke really,'' Spackman said. ''My mate bought it and said he got it off a legitimate website in America. He thought it was legal and told me about it and I wanted to get it too.

''I didn't know it was illegal in Australia. Obviously it wasn't legal because it got seized by customs, so I just left it at that.

''I just tried to buy it and they banned me for two years for it. I didn't use it. They didn't test me or anything. I'm pretty disappointed about it because I haven't even taken anything.''

Spackman's troubles started two years ago when a package addressed to him was confiscated by the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service on March 4, 2010.

Customs notified the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority and the matter was referred to the ARU.

Spackman was shocked to discover customs had taken possession of what he presumed was a legal body-building supplement.

He was aware the matter had been presented to the ASADA and the ARU but was under the impression no further action would be taken as he had not consumed the banned substance.

''Once customs told me they seized it, that was it,'' he said.

''They sent me a letter saying: 'We've seized these goods. If anything else comes in addressed to you that's illegal, we'll be forced to take action.' Then ASADA contacted me and said: 'Customs has sent us this thing.' I didn't bother trying to pursue it any more after that because I wasn't charged with anything.''

At the time, Spackman said, he had no reason to suspect it was banned in Australia.

''I just play local footy,'' he said. ''Why would I bother looking into seeing if it's illegal or whatever when the website was obviously legitimate? It's not like I'm a professional athlete.''

Spackman said he has been hard done by and is unlikely to resume his rugby career once the ban is over. ''I don't think I'll play again. I think there was a period of time when I could've appealed it, but I work full-time. It's only local footy and I'm not going to take time off work to try and appeal it.

''I talked to my coach about it and he thinks it's a joke as well … I can't remember which website it was. It was so long ago … I've never tried the stuff I ordered off the net.

''That's probably the biggest thing, that I've never taken anything like that and I got banned for two years. It's just stupid really.''