Durban – The South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (SAIDS) has stated that no athlete who completed the 2022 Comrades Marathon tested positive for doping or was charged with a doping offence.
This was according to SAIDS chief executive Khalid Galant, who issued a statement on conspiracy theories and rumours of doping during the 2022 Comrades Marathon.
Galant said it had come to the attention of SAIDS that certain people in the athletics community are attempting to push a narrative of conspiracy and collusion pertaining to the concealment of doping charges following the 2022 Comrades Marathon.
“SAIDS would like to clearly state that no athlete who competed in the 2022 Comrades Marathon tested positive for doping or was charged with a doping offence,” Galant said.
He said the top 10 finishers in both the men’s and women’s categories were required, after finishing, to provide samples for testing for the presence of performance-enhancing substances.
“The samples that were collected were sent for analysis to the WADA-accredited laboratory, the South African Doping Control Laboratory (SADoCoL) based in Bloemfontein.
“These samples were analysed anonymously (blind) by the SADoCoL and independently reported directly into the WADA-managed Anti-Doping Administrative Management Systems (ADAMS) database,” Galant explained.
He said SAIDS then reported the negative results directly to Athletics South Africa, the national federation responsible for the Comrades Marathon event.
SAIDS is an impartial and independent public entity charged with a legislated mandate to protect clean sport and implement National Anti-Doping Rules (such rules being a national iteration of the World Anti-Doping Code). It exercises its powers and performs its functions without fear, favour or prejudice.
“SAIDS has never received pressure from the government, South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee or any national sports federation to not disclose an anti-doping rule violation (doping positive),” Galant said.
He said SAIDS is recognised by WADA as a global tier-1 anti-doping agency and has undergone a full compliance audit and the most recent Code Compliance Questionnaire review. This audit confirmed that the SAIDS operating systems and processes are compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code and relevant international standards.
The statement from SAIDS comes months after sister publication The Mercury reported that KwaZulu-Natal Athletics (KZNA) dismissed false rumours that there were positive doping results in the 2022 Comrades Marathon.
In a statement, KZNA president Steve Mkasi said the provincial athletics body had been made aware of rumours circulating in certain athletics quarters of positive doping results in the 2022 Comrades Marathon.
He said there was no basis for the rumours.
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