Decision time for under-fire Ralepelle

DURBAN – Under-fire Sharks and former Springbok hooker Chiliboy Ralepelle has 21 days in which to decide whether to fight the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sports (Saids) finding that he has tested positive for a banned substance or plead guilty in mitigation of sanction.

Yesterday (Wednesday) Saids revealed that Ralepelle had for a second time tested positive for banned substance Zeranol. In January, Saids had officials pitched up announced at a Sharks training session and tested the players. A few weeks later it was divulged that the 32-year-old Ralepelle had tested positive.

Ralepelle last week asked for his B sample (taken from the same urine test as the A sample) to be tested and Saids once more found evidence of Zeranol, a growth promotant used in livestock.

Until Ralepelle’s B sample proved positive, the Sharks had refused to get involved or comment on the matter but they have now broken their silence.

A Sharks spokesperson told Independent Media: “We are saddened by the finding. We strongly condemn doping in any form and we respect the work done by Saids. The Sharks are highly proactive in continually educating and providing guidance to our players on anti-doping regulations and about the responsible use of supplements and will continue to do so.”

This is in wake of a statement on Wednesday from Saids that said: The B-sample result of Sharks rugby player, Mahlatse Chilliboy Ralepelle, confirmed the presence of the banned substance Zeranol.

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Ralepelle has a previous conviction for a banned substance resulting in a two year ban from rugby. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Saids said the ball is now in Ralepele’s court: 

“The athlete now has the option of accepting the result and offering a guilty plea, where after a decision will be issued explaining the doping sanction. The athlete may also submit a plea for consideration of a reduced sanction by providing mitigating circumstances. Should the athlete opt to contest the sample result, a hearing of an independent tribunal panel will be convened to adjudicate over the proceeding and hand down a decision. The athlete has 21 days until a decision must be disclosed”

Unfortunately for Ralepelle he has a previous conviction, having tested positive for a banned substance when he was playing for French club Toulouse, resulting in a two year ban from rugby.


The Mercury

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