Substantial evidence to prove Mamabolo was rightful winner – lawyer

2012-06-30 13:41

Comrades Marathon champion Ludwick Mamabolo’s doping results should not have been made public.

This is according to human rights lawyer Brian Currin, who said there was substantial evidence to prove that the 35-year-old was the legitimate champion of the June 3 ultra-race he won in 5:31.03.

Currin is part of the legal team representing Mamabolo, who is contesting the positive test result for methylhexaneamine, a banned stimulant that could get him banned for years and stripped of his title – according to the South African Institute for Drug Free Sport (Saids) if he is found guilty by an independent tribunal.

Mamabolo’s legal team is headed by Greg Nott of Werksman Attorneys. Nott represented Caster Semenya during the 800m runner’s infamous gender verification debacle in 2009.

Mamabolo told City Press in a one-one-one interview yesterday that he was “willing to follow every process that will clear my name. I’m innocent and I won the Comardes fairly.

“I have never knowingly and intentionally taken any illegal or banned substance to enhance my performance. Like virtually every professional athlete, I supplement my diet with over-the-counter nutritional products.”

Said Currin: “The outcome of the A-sample should never have been made public as it was premature.”

“His innocence is something that will emerge from a process ... there is an A-sample and now he has asked for a B-sample. If there are issues after the B-sample, then there will a hearing.”

But Saids chief executive Dr Shuaib Manjra said: “In terms of the Wada code (the World Anti-Doping Agency), we have the right to publish a positive sample.”

Currin said if there was going to be a hearing “there is substantial evidence to prove that he was the rightful winner of the Comrades.”

He refused to go into details, saying the matter was sub judice.

Mamabolo described the setback as “a distressful moment of my life”.

Mamabolo, from Sekgobye village in Limpopo, said he was currently unemployed after he severed ties with his former employer, Absa Bank in Kempton Park, Johannesburg.

Now without a job for almost four months, he said: “After winning the Comrades, I told myself that I had achieved my dream. I was going to focus on 10km and 21km races to get the hunger back for the next Comrades.”

Now the Mr Price runner will have to wait for three months before he knows if he was entitled to the Comrades’ R300 000 first prize.

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