Nikola Radjen, Serbian Water Polo Player And Olympic Medalist, Suspended For Four Years By FINA Doping Panel


Nikola Radjen, a 30 year old Serbian Water Polo player, was formally suspended for four years of competition following a positive test result for cocaine. Radjen’s suspension will officially run from May 7, 2015 until May 6, 2019. The Doping Panel also ruled that Radjen would have all competition prizes annulled on and following February 17, 2015. This is Radjen’s first anti-doping violation.

Radjen is a two-time Olympic medalist, having won a gold medal at the 2008 Games in Beijing and a bronze medal at the 2012 Games in London, both times representing Serbia. He also represented the Serbian national team at the 2009 World Championships in Rome and has been both a European and World Cup Champion.

In the notes from the Doping Panel proceedings, Radjen was found to have cocaine in his system at two in-competition tests. The first test occurred on February 17, 2015 at the FINA Water Polo World League competition. The second test occurred on April 15, 2015.

Cocaine is a Class S6 prohibited substance during competition. The full text of the rule rule, FINA D.C. 2.1.1, states: “it is each Athlete’s personal duty to ensure that no Prohibited Substance or it Metabolites or Markers found to be present in their Samples. Accordingly, it is not necessary that intent, fault, negligence or knowing use on the Athlete’s part be demonstrated in order to establish an anti-doping violation under DC 2.1.”

During the proceedings Radjen admitted that he knew he would test positive prior to being asked to preform that test at the World League competition. In his letter of defense, he argued that the drug’s use came because of “private problems” explained in a video defense and that he had “no intention to commit [an] anti-doping violation.”

You can read the notes from the proceedings here.

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