“It wasn’t me!”

Ath­lete Isaac is in se­ri­ous trou­ble when he’s framed for dop­ing.

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Long-dis­tance runner Isaac (Sipho Nkuna) has noth­ing to worry about when the Ath­let­ics Board or­ders ran­dom drug tests at the ASA on Mon­day 12 De­cem­ber. But there’s a prob­lem when the re­sults come back on Mon­day 19 De­cem­ber: clean-liv­ing Isaac has tested pos­i­tive for a per­for­mance-en­hanc­ing sub­stance. “Isaac is de­stroyed and dis­gusted,” ex­plains Sipho. “He’d never dab­ble in drugs as he’s very good at run­ning. He doesn’t need drugs to en­hance his tal­ents.”

“Isaac is cer­tain that it is ASA’s trainer Greg and his ri­val runner Mack (Jac­ques Bes­sen­ger and Tshepo Ra­ma­sia),” says Sipho, adding that “Mack and Greg have an in­ti­mate gay re­la­tion­ship and Greg wants Mack to be the ASA’s star.” Greg sees Mack as his ticket to fame, money and putting him in a po­si­tion to snatch the ASA from Jus­tice (Saint Se­seli). With Isaac sus­pended, Greg and Mack con­tinue train­ing on Mon­day 19 De­cem­ber but Isaac has a se­cret weapon, Sipho re­veals. “Isaac’s girl­friend Eshe (Swankie Mafoko) is a for­mer cop and she’s go­ing to help in­ves­ti­gate his pos­i­tive test.” Isaac’s im­pa­tience gets the bet­ter of him on Tues­day 20 De­cem­ber. “He hates her slow meth­ods, like tak­ing sy­ringes from Greg’s of­fice as ev­i­dence to com­pile a re­port,” says Sipho. But this may not only be about Isaac be­ing a bet­ter ath­lete than Mack – Isaac is be­ing mis­treated in the gym and he puts it down to xeno­pho­bia. He es­caped vi­o­lence in Su­dan and came to SA for a bet­ter life. Isaac be­lieves that no one at ASA wants him there, es­pe­cially Greg who points out all the time that Isaac “doesn’t be­long in the coun­try and ASA”. “Ci­ti­zen­ship is a sore topic for Isaac,” ex­plains Sipho. “It’s only a mat­ter of time be­fore he is de­ported as his visa has ex­pired.” Eshe was hand­picked by Jus­tice’s house­keeper Warona (Maki Mokhitli) on Mon­day 28 Novem­ber to marry Isaac when he told Jus­tice about his visa ex­pir­ing. There isn’t ro­man­tic chem­istry between Eshe and Isaac but Sipho says that “they get along and have each oth­ers’ backs. That friend­ship counts for the fu­ture…”

On Mon­day 26 De­cem­ber, Isaac tells a jour­nal­ist that he has proof of cor­rup­tion at ASA and he knows who’s in­volved in the dop­ing. He’s turned away and later it turns out that Isaac’s miss­ing…

House­keeper Warona has had enough of her em­ployer Jus­tice treat­ing her badly and she gives him an ul­ti­ma­tum, but Jus­tice is too busy with the drug test­ing at his ASA fa­cil­ity to no­tice how an­gry and se­ri­ous Warona is about leav­ing. Jus­tice’s daugh­ters Botho and Ashanti have a fall­ing out and Mmamosa uses the girls’ fight to her ad­van­tage, caus­ing more fric­tion between the pair with some care­fully crafted lies. Mean­while, ASA trainer Greg feels like his life is crum­bling when his chances of mak­ing easy money abruptly end, so he de­cides to do some­thing that will se­cure his fu­ture.

Isaac’s “ran­dom” drug test re­sults show the pres­ence of per­for­mance-en­hanc­ing sub­stances in his blood but he in­sists that he’s be­ing framed and his girl­friend Eshe snoops around the gym to help Isaac. Botho and Le­hasa aren’t happy when they’re forced to work to­gether at the gym and they try to avoid each other at all costs. Mean­while, Mack and Isaac get into a phys­i­cal brawl at the ASA gym, while else­where Warona re­signs and walks out on Jus­tice and his two girls. An­gry about los­ing his house­keeper and his daugh­ters’ min­der, Jus­tice turns to Mmamosa for ad­vice, un­aware that this is all part of her plan and that she’s go­ing to give him “ad­vice” that could land him in se­ri­ous trou­ble.

Mack (top) and Greg could be fram­ing Isaac. Isaac’s world is col­laps­ing around him.

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