SA Rugby bans three teenagers for doping

2010-11-05 11:05

The suspension of three young players for doping offences had been welcomed by the South African Rugby Union (Saru), the body said today.

Two players received two-year bans for the use of steroids while a third was handed a three-month suspension for using a supplement that contained a prohibited ingredient.

Griquas under-19 fullback Abrie Marais and Eastern Province under-19 pivot Jonathan Mudrovcic were suspended for two years for the use of norandrosterone, a metabolite of nandrolone and/or a precursor of it.

Free State Cheetahs under-19 flyhalf Johan Goosen, who was on Monday named as Coca-Cola Craven Week player of the year, was banned until the end of January for testing positive for a stimulant.

“This is a victory for the anti-doping programme and our judicial processes, and will send a strong message to our young players,” said Saru medical manager Clint Readhead.

“These violations and the sentences handed out by the Saru judicial officer should be a warning to any young players out there who may be tempted by a mate in the gym or an unscrupulous supplement salesman.

“We don’t believe the problem is widespread, but one failure is one too many.”

Readhead added: “Saru and the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (Saids) have been concerned with the temptations at the junior end of the game to use performance-enhancing substances and/or supplements to improve their performance.

“As a result of this, Saids has increased the testing of junior players and will continue to do so until we achieve the required result of no adverse analytical findings.

“To ensure that young players are informed of the dangers of the use of banned substances as well as the concerns regarding the use of supplements, Saru, in association with Saids, has provided players with educational information at all the youth week tournaments for the past two years and we plan to expand the programme next year,” said Readhead.

Marais pleaded guilty after a random dope test at an under-19 provincial championship match disclosed the presence of 19-norandrosterone (metabolite of nandrolone and/or precursors) in a sample taken by Saids.

The Saru judicial committee, after considering the evidence from the player, decided that he intentionally used the prohibited substance, which he received from a friend at a gym.

As a result, he was suspended from all forms of rugby for two years, up to and including October 10 2012.

Mudrovcic was found guilty in his absence and was suspended for two years after he tested positive for 19-norandrosterone.

The Saru judicial committee was informed in writing that Mudrovcic accepted the finding and accepted the punishment as a first offender.

He is suspended from all rugby up to and including October 20 2012.

Goosen was tested in-competition, his sample confirming the presence of Methylhexaneamine, a stimulant that was added to the banned list in 2010.

He pleaded guilty to the charge.

The stimulant was present in a supplement that Goosen had bought over the counter in Bloemfontein.

The judicial committee, chaired by advocate Jannie Lubbe, decided that Goosen had been negligent and that Goosen’s explanation was insufficient.

The player said he had accepted an assurance from the salesman that the stimulant contained no prohibited ingredients.

The committee said that a player in his position should have been more careful about recommendations made by gym mates and, given the availability of advisers, from coaches to rugby administrators and their medical personnel, further enquiries, beyond that of the store assistant, could and should have been made.

As a result, he was suspended from all rugby for a period of three months, which was calculated to start from the November 1 2010 up to and including January 30 2011.

All three players have the right to appeal.

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