Doping ban: Flatmate’s statement could save star’s career

 

 

James Segeyaro is likely to face an NRL anti-doping tribunal in coming weeks. His ability to play rugby league again will be on the line after Sports Integrity Australia recommended that Segeyaro receive a four-year ban for returning a positive test to LGD 4033, better known as Ligandrol.

The NRL anti-doping tribunal has the power to reduce that sanction in certain circumstances. Among those circumstances is if there is no significant fault or negligence by the athlete concerned.

In that situation, the sanction can vary from a reprimand to a maximum of two years out of the sport.

James Segeyaro was dumped from the Broncos following his positive test. Picture: AAP/Joel Carrett
James Segeyaro was dumped from the Broncos following his positive test. Picture: AAP/Joel Carrett

This is where things get ­interesting for Segeyaro. The ­former Brisbane and Cronulla hooker tested positive for Ligandrol - the same substance that has sidelined swimmer Shayna Jack - late last year.

Since then, he and his legal team have been getting their ducks in a row as they attempt to clarify how the substance found its way into Segeyaro's system. ­Segeyaro, 29, believes he ingested Ligandrol via the blender he shared with his housemate in ­Brisbane. The cynics out there would suggest Segeyaro is clutching at straws.

Yet News Corp has seen the statement provided to Sports Integrity Australia, formerly the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Agency, by Segeyaro's former housemate. It describes in great detail how and why the flatmate got his hands on LGD 4033.

He says after he moved into the apartment that he eventually shared with Segeyaro, he was exhausted and had lost about 10-15kg due to injuries he had suffered while working in the Australian Defence Force.

"I had not been training and felt really unhealthy for about a month and not eating right," he said in his statement.

"So to get back to trying to feel better and train I needed to try something to get back my appetite. A guy I knew at the gym told me about this LGD.

"He said that the LGD should work for me and help me out."

He said he started using Ligandrol two or three times a week, at first taking a scoop of the powder directly into his mouth before he ­became repulsed by the taste. He then started mixing it with other substances.

 

Segeyaro turned heads at a meeting with ASADA. Picture: AAP/Darren England
Segeyaro turned heads at a meeting with ASADA. Picture: AAP/Darren England

 

"I would mix this in a blender I bought for that purpose to mix all my pre-workout drinks and supplements," he said.

The blender was purchased from JB Hi-FI for $99.

"The drinks I made up varied each time from when it was either before training or after training or I would even make up a smoothie," he said.

"I would add the water to the blender container and then either the protein powder, or whatever supplement I was taking at the time, and then also fruit every now and then.

"I would add the LGD 4033 in last. I would then blend the ingredients for about 20-30 seconds. All the powders would be pretty much dissolved after mixing it in the blender."

As well as LGD 4033, he also said he used protein, C4 - pre-workout, L-tryptophan and acetyl-L-Carnitine. Crucially, he distanced Segeyaro from any use of Ligandrol.

"I did know James was a rugby league player who played for the Brisbane Broncos, but I did not know him personally until he moved into my apartment," he said.

"As James was sharing my apartment he was free to use the blender as he wished. I know he did use it from time to time as I could hear it going, but I had no idea how much he used it when I was not at home.

"I used the LGD 4033 for my own use and did not share it with anyone else including James. When James was overseas he phoned me and told me that he had tested positive to Ligandrol (this was some time at the start of October 2019).

 

James Segeyaro joined the Broncos last year. Picture: AAP/Craig Golding
James Segeyaro joined the Broncos last year. Picture: AAP/Craig Golding

 

"He said ASADA did a test on him and that's what was found. I did not know what Ligandrol was so I Googled it the same time as I was talking to James.

"That's when I released Ligandrol was LGD 4033. I told James I had been taking that. He asked me how and I told him it was through the blender.

"I told James I wanted to help him out, as I felt accountable as I brought him into my house and now he has lost his job."

As for the blender, he says he threw it out.

"The metal blade was getting a bit old and rusty and after the ­impact of James testing positive I did not want it around anymore," he said.

While he may not have the blender, he has supplied SIA with an invoice for the appliance at the centre of the drama.

He has also supplied SIA with an invoice for his purchase of LGD from a company called Redback SARMS Australia. The bottle cost $85.

Segeyaro's future hangs on the testimony of a man he met only a matter of weeks after joining the Broncos. A four-year sentence would be the death knell on his ­career. Two years or less would at least leave him with some hope.

Originally published as Doping ban: Flatmate's statement could save star's career