Unufe tests positive for Heptaminol; 14-month suspension upheld

Maka Unufe. Picture: Sean M. Haffey.

THE USA sevens team has been rocked by the news that Maka Unufe has failed a drugs test.

According to RugbyPass, USA Rugby confirmed that Unufe tested positive for Heptaminol on July 13 last year, a banned substance in accordance with World Rugby Regulation 21 anti-doping policy.

Unufe was taking a dietary supplement, for which he thoroughly reviewed the label and ingredients, which gave no indication to the presence of Heptaminol.

USA Rugby Director of Medical Michael Keating sent the supplement for testing, where it was confirmed the banned substance was present despite not being listed within the product’s ingredients.

Following a number of appeals and hearings, World Rugby acknowledged that Unufe acted without intent; however, in accordance with a strict zero tolerance anti-doping policy, has upheld a 14-month suspension.

As the suspension dates back to the original date of citation in July, Unufe will be eligible for training and competition ahead of the 2020 World Rugby Sevens Series and Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

More Stories