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Comrades Marathon winner Ludwick Mamabolo, speaking out for the first time since he tested positive for a banned substance, has insisted he is innocent.
“I have never knowingly or intentionally taken any illegal substances to enhance my performance during my long running career, and this year was no different,” Mamabolo said yesterday.
“It has always been my dream to win the Comrades and to follow in the footsteps of my uncle, famous track athlete Titus Mamabolo. Winning the race… is the greatest achievement of my life, but it has turned into a nightmare.
Mamabolo, 35, became the first South African to win the 89km ultra-marathon in seven years when he secured the down run title in Durban on June 3.
Two weeks later the SA Institute for Drug-Free Sport announced his A-sample had tested positive for the stimulant methylhexaneamine. He is still waiting for the result of his B-sample.
Mamabolo confirmed yesterday that he had accepted the offer of legal assistance from law firm Werksmans Attorneys.
“My running achievements have been built on years of hard work on the road,” he said.
“I am totally innocent of these charges. I won the Comrades fairly and squarely after sacrificing everything to train for this year’s race.”