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