Bruce Croall wants to firmly focus on this summer's Commonwealth Games after facing the fallout from a failed drug test.
The City of Edinburgh rider received a doping ban of six months despite a tribunal accepting that Croall had not intentionally taken an illegal stimulant. The veteran Scottish track cyclist is however back on track for a first Commonwealth Games selection after the National Anti-Doping Panel back-dated the suspension to the time of his offence last October.
The case was referred to Sport Resolutions Dispute Service and judged by a panel comprising sports and legal experts. A special panel including a medical expert and a QC agreed that the Scottish kilo champion had tested positive for Oxilofrine, a ‘specified substance’ under the UCI’s Anti-Doping Rules, as Croall used a supplement - Dorian Yates Nox Pump.
The rider tested positive after being placed in two veterans’ races at the UCI World Track Masters in Manchester on October 6 and October 9 last year. Croall had declared his use of the supplement but started to get worried after a Scottish Cycling presentation declared the supplement as unsafe. When informed of his failed doping test in early November, Croall agreed to a voluntary suspension immediately and sent the supplement for independent testing to prove it was the source of the amphetamine.
Final decision on the case as per National Anti-Doping Panel cleared Croall of deliberately doping and it was declared by the panel that Croall has certainly proved to its comfortable satisfaction that Oxilofrine entered his body through his ingestion of Dorian Yates Nox Pump. The panel remarked we make no finding as to how such Oxilofrine came to be present in the supplement, Dorian Yates Nox Pump and added that we note that the list of ingredients that appears on the supplement’s packaging contains no reference to Oxilofrine nor is there any listed ingredient that has been proved to contain it. It was also remarked in the decision of the National Anti-Doping Panel that we know Croall had tested negative at least twice before notwithstanding he had regularly taken the supplement and we also know that the boxer, Brian Magee, tested positive in December 2012, having taken a supplement of the same name. The panel concluded that we also know that Croall’s own independent testing in November 2013 from another sachet in the same batch confirmed the presence of Oxilofrine in that sample and we accept that Croall did not intend to enhance his performance by taking that specified substance. The panel found that the experienced City of Edinburgh rider was ‘at a significant degree of fault’ – but backdated his suspension so that it expired on April 9 this year.
Croall remarked he didn’t want any ban because he didn’t think he did anything wrong and added that he checked all of the ingredients and had been tested before and it always come back clear so he assumed it was acceptable to use. Croall remarked he is grateful for the support of the governing body Scottish Cycling and national coach Gary Coltman, who allowed him to continue attending squad training sessions. He summed up by saying that he just wants to compete at the Commonwealth Games and achieve his career ambition.