Statement From Chadwick Lawrence Solicitors Ref: Zak Hardaker

Chadwick Lawrence Solicitors represented Rugby League player Zak Hardaker in a claim brought against him by UK Anti-Doping (UKAD).

Following a one day hearing in front of the National Anti-Doping Panel, Zak Hardaker has been charged by UKAD with committing an Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADVR) under Article 2.1 of the UK Anti-Doping Rules, namely that a metabolite of Cocaine was found in a urine sample.

It was held that the period of Zak’s ineligibility to play Rugby League should be limited to 14 months. Zak was suspended on 8 September 2017, which means he will be eligible to return to play Rugby League on 7 November 2018.

Zak was represented by Sam Pawson (Associate) and Nils O’Donoghue (Partner), solicitors specialising in Sports Law at Chadwick Lawrence in Leeds. They worked alongside leading Sports Law Barrister, Daniel Saoul.

Zak’s legal team successfully argued that, as a result of a number of exceptional circumstances, the 26-year-old, former England player, bore no significant fault in committing an ADVR.

The legal team at Chadwick Lawrence commented:

“We believe the correct verdict has been returned and we would like to thank the Tribunal for their professionalism. This was a truly exceptional case, where the drug use was never linked to performance enhancement.

“In this regard Zak would never take any substance to achieve an unfair advantage and we are pleased that the decision of the Tribunal has recognised this fact.

“He was commended by the Tribunal for his impressive comprehensive evidence and the fact that he made no attempt to downplay his conduct and was utterly frank with them.

“The last 2 years have been an extremely difficult period for Zak who, away from the public eye, has bravely battled a number of personal traumas.

“Zak has asked for privacy at this time but thanked his family and close friends for helping him through this difficult period.”