Schoolboy tests positive for steroids

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Cape Town - A 17-year-old Cape rugby player is facing a ban of up to two years after he tested positive for steroids.

The young rugby player tested positive for the banned anabolic steroid, nandrolone, at the 2012 Craven Week schools rugby tournament held in Port Elizabeth in July.

The boy – who cannot be named because he is a minor – will face an independent tribunal in two months’ time.

The standard sentence is a minimum ban of two years and not less than a year where there are mitigating circumstances.

“It will be up to the tribunal to rule on the appropriate sanction,” says Dr Shuaib Manjra, Chairman of Institute for Drug-Free Sport.

The ban could seriously affect the young sport star’s future career.

If he is found guilty it could dent his chances of being recruited by the Provincial Unions who talent spot during school tournaments.

Testing for performance-enhancing drugs needs to become a priority in schools, but the Department of Education is not buying into the idea, said Manjra, who has been petitioning the department to allow drug testing at schools.

“The problem is broad-based in school sport throughout the country. It is part of a global trend. We need to intervene at [school] level,” said Manjra.

A competitive culture in school sport had led to some coaches putting greater emphasis on size and strength, forcing some pupils into a position where they felt they needed to use supplements to stand a chance of selection.

“Testing at schools needs to go hand in hand with an awareness campaign. We need to remind pupils of the ethical paradigm of sport. Health, wellness, camaraderie, integrity and respect for your opponent need to be promoted. Doping, corruption and foul play need to be rooted out,” Manjra said.

Cape Argus, Daily Voice


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