Doping: Another Comrades gold medallist guilty

2012-08-03 00:00

THE Comrades Marathon has been rocked by news of another gold medallist in this year’s race testing positive for a banned substance.

After winner Ludwick Mamabolo tested positive for methylhexaneamine in June, with his title in doubt subject to a tribunal in September, seventh-placed Lesotho runner Lephetesang Adoro’s A sample has returned positive after tests in Germany.

The Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) confirmed it had been advised by the SA Institute for Drug Free Sport (Saids) that another athlete, unnamed, had tested positive.

His name was due for release once tests had confirmed whether he had used banned substances.

Adoro’s name is now known for the wrong reasons. CMA general manager Gary Boshoff confirmed that Adoro’s sample had shown high levels of testosterone and it had to be determined whether this was produced naturally by his body or by an artificial substance.

Results confirmed the levels were unnatural.

Boshoff said : “It’s sad that two gold medallists from this year’s race have tested positive. While it scars the race, the positive is a clear message that the CMA will not stand for artificial means used for success in the race.”

Saids CEO Khalid Galant confirmed Boshoff’s statements, adding that samples taken from top runners were sent to Germany as the South African national doping control laboratory did not have the necessary equipment to perform certain tests on the samples.

Adoro’s problems do not end here. Tests have shown traces of another banned substance, prednisone, used for anti-inflammatory purposes.

As a Lesotho athlete, his case will be handed to the Lesotho Olympic Committee or its athletics federation. A tribunal will determine an outcome and decide whether to ban the athlete and for how long. If Saids confirms the deliberate use of banned substances, the CMA has no option but to strip the runner of his gold medal.

President of KwaZulu-Natal Athletics Sello Mokoena said he was aware of a top runner testing positive, but was unsure whether it was from the men or women finishers.

“Thankfully we have not released any prize money for the top 10 men and women finishers.

“The process of determining whether an athlete is clean or not must be completed before any money is handed over. It’s disappointing to have two gold medallists from this year and we pray this is not an ugly trend destined to ruin the great image of the Comrades.”

doping: another comrades gold medallist guilty

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