ASA confirms positive tik test

Johannesburg - Athletics SA (ASA) confirmed on Thursday that rising South African long jump star Luvo Manyonga has tested positive for the highly addictive drug methamphetamine, commonly known as tik.

Afrikaans newspaper Beeld reported that the 21-year-old Manyonga’s dreams of participating in this year’s London Olympic Game were in the balance after tests returned positive for the drug.

ASA chief executive Frik Vermaak said he could not comment on the athlete’s case as the process was being handled by the SA Institute for Drug-free Sports (SAIDS).

"Until SAIDS finalises their processes we really can’t comment on it; SAIDS are handling the matter and we should allow them to finalise a case that is still sub judice and in process," said Vermaak.

Vermaak said ASA had known about the result for a while. However, he could not provide the exact date SAIDS informed ASA of the test results.

"Like all other cases, SAIDS informs us and they follow their process and only when it is concluded can we comment, because no-one is guilty until they are found guilty," Vermaak said.

This was apparently not the first time Manyonga had landed in hot water, the newspaper reported.

He reportedly went missing for a month after last year’s South African senior championships in Durban.

Manyonga, a former world junior World Championship champion, finished fifth at last year’s World Championships in Daegu, South Korea, in his first year as a senior athlete.

The athlete has already qualified once for the Olympics, with a jump of 8.26m at the world championships, but he has yet to reach the Olympic standard of 8.20m for a second time to book his place.

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