WAGGA bodybuilding star Christine Zadel yesterday claimed a case of negligence handed her a two-year ban from the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) for using banned substances during a state competition last year.
An apologetic Zadel yesterday admitted she may have become "complacent" while competing at the International Natural Bodybuilding Association NSW titles in Castle Hill.
ASADA has announced Zadel has been banned from competing with the INBA after testing positive for performance- enhancing substances clenbuterol and glycerol in September, 2010.
Having spent 12 months awaiting the ASADA decision, the well-known Wagga sporting identity revealed to The Daily Advertiser the shame over a "simple mistake".
"It comes down to negligence on my behalf," she said.
"I guess when you're competing in the INBA you become a little complacent, but because they're very, very strict I shouldn't have been.
"You can't even take cold and flu tablets because of the pseudoephedrine.
"In 2009 they added a lot of things to the list and I wasn't aware of it.
"What happened was I purchased a fat-burning product from the internet and didn't check with the federation, and it contained the banned product.
"You're supposed to check everything with the INBA but I didn't.
"With the other thing, glycerol, I had no idea that it was even banned and I declared to them that I had taken it.
"To me it's just sugar and it helps with hydration, I just didn't know."
The INBA is renowned for its strict and regular testing procedures for banned substances, priding itself on its natural approach to bodybuilding.
As a member of the INBA for about 10 years, Zadel admits she was fully aware of the regulations but followed the instructions of her coach to purchase the products.
Although careful not to place blame, Zadel said she had largely trained on her own before hiring a Melbourne coach in 2009.
"It was all a part of my coach's plan, and when your coach tells you to do something, you do it," she said.
"I'm not saying it was his fault at all, I just trust him and I still do - it was just a bit of negligence, a simple mistake.
"We just didn't check the label."
Having already served 12 months of the two-year ban, Zadel is looking forward to moving on with her career competing with the International Federation of Body Building (IFBB).
"When it came out 12 months ago I was absolutely devastated," she said.
“I’d been competing for such a long time with the INBA, and it was a shame that something so stupid blemished that.”
The ban is currently in effect and stands until October 29, 2012, while a second offence could result in a lifetime ban.