Comrades winner Ludwick Mamabolo has tested positive for a banned substance and faces having his title taken away.
The 2012 ‘down run’ winner tested positve for the stimulant methylhexaneamine and could be banned for two years if he is found guilty.
The Comrades Marathon Association shared their disappointment on twitter.
“(We) confirm that Comrades Winner Mamabolo tests positive for banned substance, we are most disappointed.”
The South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (Saids) said a sample was taken from the runner after the race on June 3, as per usual doping controls, and the test detected methylhexaneamine in the system.
“Banned stimulants like methylhexaneamine give the athlete a heightened sense of awareness, energy and euphoria and can mask fatigue levels in a race such as the Comrades,” said Saids CEO, Khalid Gelant.
According to Saids, one other athlete failed a dope test. The sample came back with high levels of testosterone, but cases involving the hormone aren’t as clear-cut as those involving substances.
"As per the protocol for testosterone cases, we have to rule out endogenous production (manufactured in the body) of testosterone by the athlete's body and any medical abnormality,” said Gelant.
The sample has been sent for further testing in Colgne, Germany.
Mamabolo, though, can request that his B-sample be tested.
Said Gelant: “The B-sample is a 30ml sample of the original sample of the athlete," he says. "The sample is divided into A and B sample at the time of the test being performed. The two samples are independently sealed at this stage. B-sample is only opened at the request of the athlete. He may provide a witness to the opening of the B-sample to ensure that it has not been tampered with."
Mamabolo’s team, Mr Price, were shocked by the revelations on Tuesday, but said they had not received official word on it yet.
“We have not been formally notified as yet so we cannot comment on the situation,” said Mr Price’s Cuwan Walker.
A date will be set for independent tribunal to hear the charges against Mamabolo. – IOL