The dope: What is it?

2012-06-20 00:00

MANY athletes have tested positive for methylhexaneamine, according to Dr Ross Tucker of the Sports Science Institute of SA.

They include Springboks Chilliboy Ralepelle and Bjorn Basson, who were later cleared, while young Cheetahs flyhalf Johan Goosen was banned for eight months while still a Grey College pupil in Bloemfontein in 2010.

He tested positive for the substance after taking part in the Coca-Cola Craven Week that year.

“The stimulant methylhexaneamine is found in supplements,” said Tucker.

However, athletes can be cleared should they prove that it was ingested accidentally. Tucker said methylhexaneamine, although a banned substance, was very mild, and there were discussions in 2010 as to whether it should even be on the World Anti-Doping Agency list of banned substances. “It is a stimulant. It acts on the central nervous system and gives an athlete more energy during a workout,” he said.

The regulation of sports supplements in South Africa was non-existent, and athletes needed to be aware that it could be easily bought over the counter.

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