WELLINGTON - New Zealand women's rugby sevens player Lavinia Gould has been suspended for two years after testing positive for a banned stimulant during a tournament in Dubai last year, the New Zealand Rugby Union said on Friday.
The 32-year-old's urine sample contained traces of methylhexaneamine and her ban, backdated to her provisional suspension in January, will run until Jan. 10, 2015.
Traces of the drug were found in a dietary supplement Gould had been taking during the international tournament and her case was a cautionary tale for other athletes, the NZRU said.
"We're sad for Lavinia as she was a promising player," said NZRU chief executive Steve Tew.
"But there is a real lesson here for all players even when taking a supplement containing a stimulant which is only banned in competition, they must take care as the consequences for their playing career can be severe."
Women's rugby sevens will make its Olympic debut at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro and New Zealand are among the early favourites to take gold.