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Mamabolo is convinced drug ban won't stand

By Ramatsiyi Moholoa | 2012-12-20 07:19:33.0

LUDWICK Mamabolo has set up a training camp outside Zion City Moria in Limpopo to start preparations for the Two Oceans Marathon in Cape Town on Easter Saturday.

His lawyers, on the other hand, are challenging the validity of the doping charge against the suspended Comrades Marathon winner.

Mamabolo, 35, said he was not worried about the drugs scandal, which arose after his urine sample tested positive for a banned substance following his historic Comrades Marathon victory.

He said he would be back on the road as early as next month.

"I do not smoke nor drink alcohol. I have never taken drugs in my life because I was brought up in a Christian family. I still maintain that I'm innocent. I have a very good team of lawyers, I'm highly impressed with the manner they are representing me in this case.

"I have no fear about the outcome because I'm confident that I will win it. There are a lot of things that were not properly done," said Mamabolo, whose R300,000 prize money has been withheld by the Comrades Marathon Association pending the outcome of the case.

In an interview with radio show host Simon "Kolobe" Ramafalo on Thobela FM's popular sports show, Mabaleng A Dipapadi, on Tuesday night, Mamabolo said: "For me the bigger picture is the Comrades Marathon next year. I want to make more history by winning it too."

Mamabolo's legal team is made up of Advocate Gilbert Marcus SC, Advocate Kate Hofmeyr and Werksmans Attorneys, all of whom are acting pro bono for the athlete.

At the close of a South African Institute for Drug- Free Sport (Saids) disciplinary hearing on Friday, the athlete's legal team brought an application to have the case dropped. The lawyers want the adjudication panel to stop the hearing, arguing that serious irregularities took place during the urine sample collection process after Mamabolo won the Comrades on June 3.

They argued that, based on the evidence given by Saids witnesses, it was clear that the entire testing process was fatally flawed, which should nullify the test results. The adjudication panel indicated that it would hand down its decision in the middle of next month.