Kevin Moore has been slapped with a four-year ban by the National Anti-Doping Organisation (NADO) following a ruling by the body’s Appeals Panel.

The 26-year-old had tested positive during the European Championships of the Small States held in June last year at the Matthew Micallef St John Stadium in Marsa.

The Australia-based sprinter was immediately provisionally suspended by the Malta Amateur Athletics Association (MAAA) and was subsequently ruled out from representing the country at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Moore consistently claimed his innocence and was initially acquitted from any wrongdoing by the NADO Disciplinary Commission who argued that the procedure used in the collection of the urine sample was irregular.

However, the Anti-Doping Commission contested the decision and took the case in front of the NADO Appeals Panel who re-examined the case.

In its ruling, the Appeals Panel revoked the decision to acquit Moore from any wrongdoing and condemned the sprinter to a four-year ban as stated by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) regulations.

The ban started on June 12, 2017 but the period Moore spent provisionally suspended will be deducted from the penalty .

Contacted yesterday by the Times of Malta, Moore’s lawyers, Dr Adrian Camilleri and Dr Gianella Caruana Curran expressed their disappointment at the latest ruling.

“Kevin Moore has been an international athlete for quite some years and has always represented Malta with honour,” the statement said.

“He has always denied any wrongdoing and contested the findings.”

Dr Camilleri and Dr Caruana Curran said that the National Anti-Doping Disciplinary panel acquitted Moore of any wrongdoing on March 1, 2017 and opined that the procedure conducted in the collection of the urine sample to be irregular.

“We contend that the National Doping Appeals Panel never had the authority at law to reverse the decision of the National Anti-Doping Disciplinary Commission since they are not the authority at law who could do so,” they said

“Thus the very validity or authority of the NDAP in this case will be questioned and contested in the Civil Court.”

Moore’s suspension is a big blow for both the sprinter and the Maltese track and field community.

Since making his international debut for Malta at the 2011 GSSE in Liechtenstein he has established himself as the country’s leading sprinter.

Moore has represented the country in several high-profile competitions most notably the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

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