Johannesburg - Jean-Pierre van Zyl, South Africa's top cycling sprinter and a medal hope at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, has been suspended until May next year after testing positive for an anabolic steroid.
Van Zyl, known as "JP", is on the National Olympic Committee's Operation Excellence squad which is being sponsored to train full-time in the build-up to Sydney 2000.
The South African Cycling Federation announced on Thursday that he was suspended from November 4 to May 3 2000 after testing positive for the banned substance Testosterone/Epitestsotrone.
ICU officials tested Van Zyl during out-of-season training at Emmanus PA in America in July.
"It's hugely disappointing to have to announce this," said SA Cycling Federation president Raoul de Villiers on Thursday.