Mamabolo’s rights have been violated – lawyer

2012-07-14 19:11

Comrades Marathon winner Ludwick Mamabolo’s legal representatives have promised to fight to the bitter end to clear their client’s name of any wrongdoing.

This follows an announcement on Friday by the South African Institute for Drug Free Sport that the 35-year-old’s B-sample had tested positive for a banned stimulant: methylhexaneamine.

The institute first published results of the A-sample – which tested positive – following Mamabolo’s win in the 89km ultra-marathon in Durban on June 3.

The next step is to establish a tribunal that will look into the matter, a process the institute says will take two to three weeks.

Yesterday, Mamabolo referred City Press to his legal team and Brian Currin, the human rights lawyer representing him, hit back at the institute, accusing it of violating the runner’s rights.

“In essence what they are telling the public is that Ludwick is a cheat,” said Currin.

“It’s not surprising that the B-sample came back positive. It was inevitable that it will be positive because it was the same sample that tested before. The outcome shouldn’t have been made public.

“This is a violation of our client’s right to privacy and to a proper legal process,” he said.

Currin has teamed up with Greg Nott of Werksmans Attorneys.

Nott, while with another law firm, represented Caster Semenya in her landmark gender-verification case in 2009.

Dr Shuaib Manjra, the institute’s chief executive, said his anti-doping body had followed the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) public disclosure code.

Wada’s article 14.2.1 states that: “The identity of any athlete or other person who is asserted by an anti-doping organisation to have committed an anti-doping rule violation, may be publicly disclosed by the anti-doping organisation with results management responsibility only after notice has been provided to the athlete . . .”

Manjra said Mamabolo has the right to appeal and bring his legal council to the hearing.

However, Currin would hear none of that, and instead questioned the institute’s procedure.

“In my capacity as a human rights lawyer, I have done further consultation and some questions were never asked in relation to the two reports – the A- and B-sample.

“There seem to be concerns about the efficacy of the samples taken and I found what I believe to be a material defect in the two reports.”

He was reluctant to elaborate, citing the case’s sub-judice nature.

Manjra informed City Press:
» Mamabolo was asked at the end of the race to present himself at the doping control station for his urine sample to be taken;

» A chaperone (a doping control officer) followed him until he got there (to the doping station) to monitor what he drank or ate prior to the test;

» He was informed of his rights and to declare if he was taking any supplement or medication;

» A sample was taken and split into A and B samples; and

» In the end, Mamabolo would have signed a form to say he was happy with the procedure.

If found guilty by an independent tribunal, Mamabolo could be banned for up to two years and stripped of his title.

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