SA Rugby player gets one year ban for drugs

Border Bulldogs prop forward Lonwabo Mtimka has been suspended from all rugby for a year having been found guilty of a doping offence by a South African Rugby Union (SARU) disciplinary committee.

Mtimka tested positive for Salbutamol – a performance-enhancing stimulant – following an Absa Currie Cup First Division match against the Leopards on August 9.

SARU Judicial Officers Advocate Jannie Lubbe (chairman), Dr Shuaib Manjra and Attorney Willem Gaum heard the case by teleconference on Thursday.

Mtimka said in his defence that he had taken the substance by means of an asthma inhaler, which he has been using since 1992.

He pleaded guilty to a charge of negligence for failing to submit a therapeutic use form recording his use of the substance.


He added that the absence of a team doctor with the Border Bulldogs had led to his neglect to complete and submit the necessary documentation.

In their judgement the committee pointed out that according to the regulations it was ultimately the player’s responsibility to record his use of therapeutic medications and to seek the necessary exemptions.

The sentence for doping offences is two years. However, that may be reduced by 50% if a committee takes the view that there is “no significant fault” on the part of the player.

The committee accepted Mtimka’s plea of negligence and reduced the suspension to one year. The player has ten days in which to appeal should he so wish.

Sapa –

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