Doping dogs SA athletics

2012-09-01 19:31

Federation says even one failure is too much

This year alone, the South African Institute for Drug Free Sport (Saids) captured 12 anti-doping violation cases against South African athletics.

Five of the athletes have been slapped with lengthy bans, including two minors.

“The many failed dope tests are a big concern and even one failure is too much,” said Athletics South Africa (ASA) president James Evans.

Some of the high-profile offenders were Comrades winner Ludwick Mamabolo and South African long jumper Luvo Manyonga.

Mamabolo (35) has a pending hearing to answer why his A and B samples tested positive for the banned stimulant methylhexaneamine after his victory in the 89km race in June.

Manyonga (21) is currently serving an 18-month ban after testing positive for methamphetamine (tik) in March.

Another South African international, sprinter Kagisho Kumbane, and middle-distance athlete Richard Mavuso, are each serving two-year bans.

Kumbane (23) was tested during the Yellow Pages Interprovincial championships in Germiston, on February 25 and his sample returned positive for an anabolic agent, the same substance found in Mavuso’s (34) sample when he was tested in May last year.

Eight other offenders, including Mamabolo, are still to appear before the anti-doping tribunals.

A new date is yet to be set for Mamabolo after his legal counsel requested a postponement, Saids told City Press.

“We had a pre-arbitration about two weeks ago with his lawyers. His legal counsel has requested a second postponement, so we are still waiting to set the date,” Saids chairperson Dr Shuaib Manjra said.

Lawyer Michael Murphy will chair the hearing.

Lesotho runner Lephetesang Adoro – who finished seventh during the Comrades – also tested positive for a banned substance but his case will be handled under his country’s jurisdiction.

His sample was sent to Germany to confirm a positive result for a high concentration of testosterone.

Manjra said there has been an increase in doping offences in the last three years.

He added: “There may be an increase in the number of cases prior to the Olympic Games during preparation phases.”

Said Evans: “ASA will be working with Saids on an education programme, as many of the failed tests are due to ignorant use of supplements and not blatant cheating.

The cheats are a very small percentage. South Africa has a good testing system which may be why we have more failures than some other countries.”

Saids conducted more than 300 tests in athletics between April 2011 and March this year, 100 less than the 402 tests they did during the 2010/11 season, where marathon runner Sergio Motsoeneng was the only offender.

He tested positive for anabolic agent norandrosterone and was banned for two years. Prior to that, Lindikhaya Mthanganyi was slapped with a six-month suspension for testing positive for methylhexaneamine.

Stimulants and anabolic agents were the most common substances detected in samples during Saids’ current fiscal year.

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