Another SA run­ner fails dop­ing test

CityPress - - Sport - DANIEL MOTHOWAGAE dmoth­owa­gae@city­press.co.za

The im­proved per­for­mances by South African ath­letes lo­cally and in­ter­na­tion­ally have been spoilt by the news that yet another top ath­lete has failed a dop­ing test.

Dis­tance run­ner Thozama April (29) has been banned for two years af­ter test­ing pos­i­tive for a banned sub­stance.

The news of April’s sus­pen­sion was re­vealed at an Ath­let­ics SA (ASA) board meet­ing last week­end.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive of the SA In­sti­tute for Drug-Free Sport (Saids) Khalid Galant said the Ath­let­ics Gaut­eng North ath­lete was tested af­ter the 10km race at the Cape Town Marathon in Septem­ber last year, where she fin­ished third.

“The ath­lete tested pos­i­tive for me­tab­o­lites of nan­drolone [steroid], phen­ter­mine [stim­u­lant] and pred­nisone [glu­co­cor­ti­coid],” Galant told City Press this week.

Galant said April’s ban started from De­cem­ber 29 last year un­til De­cem­ber 28 next year be­cause her sam­ple was af­fected by a back­log in sam­ple anal­y­sis at the dop­ing lab­o­ra­tory last year.

“The 2014 back­log of sam­ples was re­solved at the end of Fe­bru­ary [this year]. Ms April also con­tested the dop­ing charge and opted to have the con­fir­ma­tory B-sam­ple anal­y­sis. This process ex­tended the timeline of the case be­fore a de­ci­sion was handed down,” ex­plained Galant.

Mean­while, irate ASA pres­i­dent Aleck Skhosana said April owed the ath­let­ics gov­ern­ing body an ex­pla­na­tion.

“We are dis­ap­pointed to say the least,” said Skhosana.

“She has been around for so long. It is im­por­tant for ath­letes who chase big prize money in com­pe­ti­tions to know bet­ter. In­for­ma­tion on banned sub­stances is freely avail­able and ac­ces­si­ble.

“In my view, the gov­ern­ment must also reg­u­late the sub­stances that are sup­pos­edly energy sup­ple­ments.”

Galant said Saids had a na­tional anti-dop­ing ed­u­ca­tion pro­gramme that cov­ered all the sports codes, in­clud­ing ath­let­ics.

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