Comrades: ‘Mamabolo remains the champ’

2012-06-21 00:00

LUDWICK Mamabolo remains the Comrades Marathon champion until he is proven guilty.

This was the position of the Comrades Marathon Association yesterday, a day after it was announced that Mamabolo had tested positive for the banned stimulant methylhexaneamine.

“We do feel for him as everybody is now looking at him with this cloud of mistrust. At the moment, in our eyes he is still the Comrades champion,” said CMA spokesperson Delaine Cools.

Athletics South Africa echoed the call.

“Unfortunately the case has attracted widespread media attention and comment from the public, with much of it assuming guilt on the part of the athlete,” said ASA spokesperson Rene de Klerk. “If he is found guilty after a fair hearing, he will face the consequences. If he is not, the damage done to him and his family will be irreparable.”

Dr Ross Tucker, of the Sports Science Institute, said Mamabolo could have taken methylhexaneamine after crossing the finish line.

“Methylhexaneamine is a stimulant that clears quickly in the system,” he was quoted by Sapa. “He could only have taken it the day before … or even just after reaching the finishing line.”

Mamabolo has asked that his B-sample be tested. He refused to comment yesterday when contacted by The Witness.

The chairperson of SA Institute for Drug-free Sport, Dr Shuaib Manjra, said it would take a maximum of two weeks for the results of the test to be released. He said it was very rare that a B-sample came back with a different result.

He said between 20% and 30% of sports supplements available in South Africa contained banned substances.

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