Boks could face two year ban for ‘party drug’

Springboks Chiliboy Ralepelle and Bjorn Basson, as well as team doctor Craig Roberts, could face a ban of two years after the duo tested positive for a banned substance while touring the United Kingdom and Ireland with the Springboks.

The Chairman of the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport Dr Shuaib Manjra says that Ralepelle and Basson will first have their B samples tested, if they so wish, before a hearing can take place.

Doctor Roberts says that the medication was administered as the players Ralepelle and Basson, were suffering from flu symptoms.

“The players and doctor involved could both face sanctions. A specified stimulant means that there is a high risk of inadvertent doping, so lower sanctions can be allowed in such cases,” Manjra told the Cape Times.

“Non-specified stimulants have a mandatory two-year sanction. So, it all depends on the merits of the case.

“What will happen now is that the B samples need to be tested, if they want it to. If that confirms the positive A sample, then a hearing needs to take place.”

The two players have been sent home but the situation is an embaressment for South Africa as the case has hit headlines around the world.

Manjra also says that there has been a rise in cases of positive tests in 2010 for methylhexaneamine.

“There have been around 20 positive cases around the world this year for this particular stimulant. The Free State Craven Week flyhalf Johan Goosen also tested positive for it recently after taking a supplement,” he said.

“Goosen only got a three-month ban after he explained that he had no knowledge that the supplement he took contained methylhexaneamine, and that it was banned.

“This surge in positive tests for methylhexaneamine got us thinking what the cause could be. “

“It is also a ‘party drug’, as it is a stimulant and is quite readily available.”

“It can be used as a decongestant as well, so that would explain what Doctor Roberts said about administering it to treat flu.”

Since readmission in 1992 two Springbok rugby players have been banned for drug use and both (hooker Andries Truscott and lock Johan Ackermann) both were given two year bans.

Former props Johan le Roux, Balie Swart and Cobus Visagie also tested positive for drug use but they all had their bans overturned.

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