Brandon Spletzer, the Vancouver naturopath who was implicated in a sports doping documentary by Al Jazeera in late December, has been lightly reprimanded by the College of Naturopathic Physicians of British Columbia.
The College of Naturopathic Physicians of B.C. suspended Spletzer of his practice for 10 days. Spletzer was also asked to take an ethics course and not work with athletes for a period of one year; no fine was imposed on Spletzer.
Spletzer works with Vancouver-area pharmacist Chad Robertson in the documentary. According to website of the registrar of the College of Pharmacists of B.C., Robertson remains a full pharmacist with no limits or conditions on his work.
In a statement, the College of Naturopathic Physicians of B.C. said it imposes sanctions to protect public safety that are commensurate with the seriousness of the misconduct. Spletzer was found to have recommended, ordered, and offer two peptides that are not authorized for sale in Canada to a patient and a third peptide that cannot be prescribed by naturopaths. In its public notification of the reprimand, the college said statements were made by Spletzer to a patient that could be interpreted as being willing to engage in disgraceful, dishonorable, or unprofessional conduct.
Spletzer played a relatively minor role in the Al Jazeera documentary. He was seen talking to an undercover reporter about ways to evade the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). Spletzer was also seen delivering peptides not authorized for human consumption to the reporter. However, the documentary caught worldwide attention for scenes in which Spletzer was not.
The reporter was Liam Collins, a one-time British hurdler, and was positioned in the documentary as an athlete looking for one last shot at the Olympics.
This documentary named eminent athletes including Peyton Williams Manning, the former American football quarterback who played 18 seasons in the National Football League. Peyton is the son of former NFL quarterback Archie Manning and older brother of New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning. The allegations of sports doping have not been proven till date and Al Jazeera was sued by Baseball players Ryan Howard and Ryan Zimmerman.
Spletzer, in his first interview about the case, remarked he never aimed to facilitate sports doping. Spletzer added he fully cooperated with the investigation and remarked the details of the reprimand indicate that he was not what was portrayed in the Al Jazeera documentary. The Vancouver naturopath added one would have thought he would have been punished a little more heavy-handed if he was deliberately going out and making a whole lot of money, like it was shown in the video, doping athletes all over the place. Spletzer did admit it was wrong on his part to prescribe the peptides and also added he was wrong to talk about evading the World Anti-Doping Agency. Spletzer added he had checked whether he could prescribe them as a naturopath and mistakenly believed he could.
Naturopaths in British Columbia are part of a self-regulating health profession and British Columbia became the first province to allow naturopathic doctors in 2009 to prescribe some medications, followed by Ontario in 2015.