Comrades winner fails B-sample drug test
Comrades Marathon winner Ludwick Mamabolo is in danger of losing his title after his B-sample tested positive for methylhexaneamine, the SA Institute for Drug Free Sport (Saids) says
Mamabolo would face a hearing on a doping charge, according to Saids CEO Khalid Galant.
“Now the process to constitute a hearing will proceed and a date will be set where Mamabolo will be afforded the opportunity to defend himself against the charge of doping,” Galant said.
“We have already initiated the process to set the date for a tribunal and Mamabolo and his legal counsel will be informed of the date and venue once it is confirmed.”
Mamabolo’s A-sample tested positive for the banned stimulant after he won the annual 89km ultra-marathon in Durban last month.
Galant said the analysis of the B-sample had taken place at the SA Doping Control Laboratory in Bloemfontein. Mamabolo was present and witnessed the breaking of the seal of the sample.
It would take approximately three months for a decision to be handed down, according to Saids, but Galant said some cases took longer to conclude due to adjournments or requests to present additional evidence in mitigation.
Mamabolo would hold the right to lodge an appeal against the tribunal decision, if he disagreed with the sanction.
Saids previously reported that an additional Comrades runner had tested positive for a high testosterone level, but further investigation was required to confirm whether the elevated testosterone level was the result of an anti-doping rule violation or a medical condition.
“As per the protocol for testosterone cases, we have to rule out endogenous production of testosterone and any medical abnormality before releasing the athlete’s name,” Galant said.
“The sample has been sent for further analysis to the Doping Control laboratory in Cologne, Germany, and we will be able to determine if the athlete tested positive for testosterone after the Cologne laboratory returns the result.”
If found guilty of doping, Mamabolo would be the second winner of the annual race to lose his crown.
Charl Mattheus was stripped of the title in 1992 after testing positive for a banned substance. His fellow South African, Jetman Msuthu, who finished second, was awarded the title. Mattheus maintained that he unwittingly took medicine containing a banned substance in the build-up to the race. He returned to win the Comrades title in 1997.
If Mamabolo lost his crown, another South African, Bongmusa Mthembu, who finished second, would become the 2012 Comrades Marathon winner.