Marathon winner kicks off legal fight

2012-07-05 00:00

THE suspension of doping control officer (DCO) Cele Makhoba will now form part of Ludwick Mamabolo’s legal challenge in his bid to clear his name of doping allegations.

Mamabolo, the winner of this year’s Comrades Marathon, has been under a cloud after his blood tested positive for a banned substance.

He has, however, maintained his innocence and said he would challenge the results.

Mamabolo’s trainer, Jerry Ramohlale, told The Witness that Makhoba’s suspension amid allegations of fraud had created doubt about the integrity of the test results, including those that led to the allegations the runner faces.

Ramohlale said KZN Athletics needed to explain how the suspended official ended up being a doping control officer acting for the South African Institute for Drug-free Sport (Saids).

Said Ramohlale: “We have always said that we smelled a conspiracy here, and now these recent revelations will prove just that. If you look at the timing, there is something clearly sinister. This guy was suspended months before the race by KZN Athletics, and by the Comrades Marathon date he was still around and was only suspended from his Comrades duties after the race. It’s obvious that he was kept around.”

The trainer said competent legal counsel had been retained to deal with the doping allegation.

“I can tell you now that the suspension will form part of the legal challenge,” he said.

The Witness reported last week that Makhoba was suspended, amid allegations of fraud, at a KZN Athletics executive meeting on March 26. He was banned from all athletics activities pending a disciplinary hearing.

He was accused of submitting claims for ghost officials who included friends and family.

At the time, Makhoba was head of the technical committee for provincial athletics, a board member of the Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) and the technical portfolio holder for the race.

Despite the March decision to suspend him, Makhoba reportedly re-emerged as the local DCO on behalf of Saids and was reportedly involved in testing at the Durban Spar Ladies’ Race.

CMA chairperson Peter Proctor said yesterday the association was not aware that Mamabolo believed that his results might have been tampered with.

• thamsanqam@witness.co.za

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