Daily Dispatch

Tuks star runs into 4-year ban


SOUTH African 110m hurdles champion Tiaan Smit has been banned for four years after testing positive for the banned anabolic agent Clenbutero­l.

The Tuks athlete was tested on April 22‚ the day he won the national crown in Potchefstr­oom‚ clocking a 13.42sec personal best as he upstaged the favourite‚ Olympian Antonio Alkana‚ by seven hundredths of a second.

Alkana had been technicall­y poor on the day‚ hitting too many hurdles.

In a recent disciplina­ry hearing 22year-old Smit said he “wanted to lose two to three kilograms at the time and asked a friend – who is also an athlete‚ a javelin thrower – what he can use”.

“The friend suggested Clenbutero­l‚ for which he paid R500 and had to go and collect it from another person (not his friend).”

According to the hearing report‚ as signed off by panel chairman Marius Hurter‚ Smit said he had competed in two other events while on the anabolic agent‚ adding “it did not make any difference on the times he was running”.

But the Tilastopaj­a athletics data website lists his six fastest career times as being posted between March 11 and April 22 this year.

Smit‚ a former Paul Roos pupil‚ stopped taking the Clenbutero­l about 10 days before the national championsh­ips because of “severe side-effects”‚ such as sleeplessn­ess‚ shaking‚ irritabili­ty and sweating.

He did not declare it on the antidoping form at the competitio­n because it had asked only what he had used in the last seven days.

Smit admitted he was on antidepres­sant medication “to help with the trauma he is currently experienci­ng of being tested positive and not being able to compete anymore”.

Mitigating against him was the fact that he was an experience­d athlete with contracts with Athletics Gauteng North and the High Performanc­e Centre.

He had a profession­al coach in Hennie Kriel and a personal doctor.

“He did not consult any of these two persons close to him as to what he should or can use that’s legal to help him lose more weight.

“Instead he asked his friend the javelin thrower for some advice.”

A simple Google search lists Clenbutero­l as a steroid.

Smit’s ban is backdated to May 25 when he was initially suspended after being informed of the adverse finding. — DDC

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