Robson support for MacLeod

Scotland team doctor believes lock made 'genuine mistake'

Last Updated: 26/02/08 11:12am

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MacLeod: Has Scotland's support

MacLeod: Has Scotland's support

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Scotland team doctor James Robson has defended Scott MacLeod after the lock was found to have taken a banned substance.

An independent judiciary committee has cleared MacLeod to carry on playing after they agreed that he had taken Terbutaline - an asthma medication that is on the World Anti-Doping Code prohibited list - without the required permission by mistake.

And Robson believes that MacLeod did not realise that there was a distinction between Terbutaline and Salbutamol - another asthma medication the Scarlets forward did have permission to use.

MacLeod was still reprimanded and warned about his future conduct - however Robson feels that the player made a "genuine mistake".

"Unfortunately Scott's medical knowledge is a little bit limited and he was under the mistaken apprehension that both Bricanyl and Ventolin, just two of several types of inhaler used to treat asthma, were one and the same thing," said Robson.

Mistake

"There are generic names (so called chemical names) for substances used in medicine and there are branded names and this occasionally gives rise to mistakes being made.

"I think Scott has made a very genuine mistake and I'm glad that he's decided to come out publicly and help us emphasise how this mistake was made, but also emphasise that despite this life-long illness, quite a chronic and debilitating illness, he has been able to reach such high levels."

Although the responsibility lies with players to hold the relevant permission - a Therapeutic Use Exemption [TUE] - Robson admits that the Scottish medical team could have done more.

"What we'll do now is sit down with each of the players and check that the specified substance on their TUE is for the inhaler they normally use," said Robson.

"I'm afraid it didn't occur to me to actually pull his file and check against that, but that is not something I will do in the future."

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