Schoeman's banned substance 'considered to be a cancer risk'

Roland Schoeman (AFP)
Roland Schoeman (AFP)

Cape Town - South African Olympian Roland Schoemanhas been banned for one year after reportedly having tested positive for a banned substance.

According to respected swimming website SwimSwam as per a FINA ruling, Schoeman tested positive for banned substance GW501516 in May 2019, a drug obtained on the black market and considered to be a cancer risk.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) categorises GW501516 as a ‘hormone and metabolic modulator’, alerting athletes in 2013 that the substance failed medical trials and was a toxic threat to health if used as a performance enhancer.

The substance GW501516 is banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency in the category of “hormones and metabolic modulators.” WADA alerted athletes back in 2013 that GW501516 failed medical trials and was a toxic threat to health if used as a performance enhancer.

SwimSwam reached out to Schoeman for comment on the ban which expires on May 17, 2020. With the one-year ban having been backdated to the date of his test, there is still a chance the 39-year-old Schoeman could compete for South Africa at the Tokyo Olympics which begin in July of this year.

Schoeman was a member of the South African Olympic team for four straight Olympics from 2000 to 2012. In 2004, he led off his country’s 4×100m freestyle relay in 48.17 as they took gold ahead of the Netherlands and USA in a then world record time of 3:13.17. Individually, Schoeman was the 2005 world champion in the 50m freestyle and the 2002 Commonwealth Games champion in the 50m freestyle.

Schoeman is the South African record holder in the 50m freestyle in both long (50m) and short course (25m).

Schoeman was entered in the FINA Swimming World Cup stop in Tokyo, which took place in August of last year, but he was a no-show for all three of his races.

He did race at four meets in Europe in June: the Sette Colli Trophy and all three stops of the Mare Nostrum series. At the most recent meet, Sette Colli, he swam 22.7 in the 50m freestyle, 49.9 in the 100m freestyle, and 23.8 in the 50m butterfly.

Last year while competing at the Mare Nostrum Series in Monaco, Schoeman told SwimSwam: “The goal for me is to make the Olympic team next year.

“It’s about learning to do what nobody else has done before.”

Read the full FINA statement here and below:

On May 18, 2019, FINA conducted an out-of-competition doping control test on the swimmer Roland Schoeman (RSA). The athlete was tested positive to the substance GW501516 (Class S.4 Hormone and Metabolic Modulators). 

According to the decision of the FINA Doping Panel, Mr Roland Schoeman has been found to have committed an anti-doping rule violation under FINA DC Rule 2.1 - presence of prohibited substance in an athlete’s sample. He has been sanctioned with a twelve (12) months’ ineligibility period commencing on May 18, 2019, a date fixed by the Panel pursuant to FINA DC 10.11.1, and ending at the conclusion of May 17, 2020, for his first anti-doping rule violation.

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