Revered Magakwe caught in doping storm

ON TRACK: National 100m star Simon Magakwe. Photo: Gallo Images
ON TRACK: National 100m star Simon Magakwe. Photo: Gallo Images

Simon Magakwe, the only South African sprinter to have run the 100m in under 10 seconds, has been caught in a doping storm.

"There is an issue between the IAAF [the world governing body for athletics] and Simon and it is still under way and we don't know the outcome.

"It does involve an out-of-competition test. The process is not finalised," Athletics SA president Aleck Skhosana confirmed last night.

An official close to the case, who spoke on condition of anonymity, claimed that Magakwe had refused to give a urine sample when approached to do so some months ago. But Skhosana declined to confirm if Magakwe had already been banned for that indiscretion.

Anti-doping regulations allow athletes to miss two tests in 12 months, but refusing to submit a sample is treated as a doping offence.

Magakwe, 28, will miss the SA championships in Stellenbosch this weekend, but the story being circulated was that he was struggling with an injury. Magakwe's trainer, Eugene Thipe, did not immediately reply to requests for comment last night.

A representative from the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport declined to comment, saying: "The test was conducted under the auspices of the IAAF." Two IAAF representatives could not be reached for comment.