Southland Rams league player Stacey Mikara has been banned from sport for six months after testing positive for cannabis.
The Sports Tribunal today announced Mikara's suspension, saying a sample he provided last September had "the presence of a metabolite of cannabis in a concentration higher than that permitted under WADA's prohibited list".
Mikara's positive test came after a New Zealand Rugby League National Championship match and admitted the violation before being provisionally suspended on January 18.
Drug Free Sport New Zealand did not assert the cannabis use was taken by Mikara to enhance his sporting performance and decided that a six-month ban was appropriate.
The Tribunal was encouraged by Mikara's remarks that he would be "putting league ahead of marijuana" and is hopeful that this "will provide a good example for other athletes who may be of the view that sport can accommodate the recreational use of cannabis".