Team SA declared drug-free

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Team SA airport1 Twitter Team SA at OR Tambo Airport. Photo: Liezel vd Westhuizen/Twitter

Johannesburg – South Africa's Olympic campaign has been dope-free so far, Team SA chief medical officer Kevin Subban said on Tuesday.

“They didn't report any negative results,” he said at the athletes' arrival at OR Tambo International Airport in Kempton Park.

“I think our team has been declared drug free, which is great.”

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula received the first of South Africa's Olympic athletes as they arrived at the airport.

Medallists, 800m runner Caster Semenya and canoeist Bridgitte Hartley stood in front of Madikizela-Mandela as supporters used their cellphones to take photographs of the celebrities.

The crowd of supporters gathered at the airport sang the national anthem for the athletes, who stood in a line with their hands over their chests.

A loud cheer, whistles and vuvuzela blasts followed.

Earlier, gold medal swimmer Chad le Clos whipped the crowd into a frenzy when he introduced his fellow medallists.

“Let's welcome the athletes home,” he said.

Le Clos and fellow medal winning swimmer Cameron van der Burgh had girls screaming their names, amid the ululating and toyi-toying masses.

Before the athletes made their appearance, thousands of people waving flags pressed against the security cordons and two decks up into the arrivals hall, people watched from above.

Semenya won silver in the women's 800m, Hartley won bronze in the women's kayak single K-1500m sprint and rowers Sizwe Ndlovu, Matthew Brittain, John Smith and James Thompson won gold in the men's lightweight four.

Le Clos won gold in the men's 200m butterfly and Van der Burgh in the men's 100m breaststroke, setting a new world record. Le Clos also won silver when he tied for second in the 100m butterfly. – Sapa


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