Asa mum on local athlete’s ban

2012-02-01 00:00

ALTHOUGH nothing official has been released from Athletics South Africa (ASA), the IAAF’s January newsletter records South African Lebogang Phalula on the list of athletes banned from competition over the past months.

Phalula, who with her twin Dinah Lebo has been at the forefront of South Africa’s middle-distance performance on the track, cross country and road, fell foul of drug testing processes at the Pretoria Spar Ladies’ 10 km challenge.

Although this had been rumoured within the sport over the past five months, neither ASA nor the race organisers had disclosed the exact nature and details of the offence or any required re-allocation of prize money and Spar Grand Prix positions.

Often the national federation would notify the public of the athlete, the substance, the sentence and any retrospective action to be made to results. Prize money is normally withheld until the drug-test results are announced.

Speaking earlier this month, an organiser linked with the Spar series confirmed they had not received any official notification of action to be taken by ASA and this had added to the speculation.

The IAAF listed Phalula as having a three-month period of ineligibility from September 29 through to December 28 last year.

The length of the ban suggests a case of inadvertent use of stimulants, but no further details were listed. Phalula is now free to return to full competitive status and will be hoping to qualify for the team going to the London Olympics.

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