Comrades runner to keep gold
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Durban - Banned Comrades Top 10 finisher, Joseph Mphuthi, has been allowed to keep his winnings and gold medal because he did not cheat in last year’s ultra-marathon, but had doped in an earlier race.
This was the explanation from the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (Saids) as to why Mphuthi was allowed to keep his winnings while his doping counterpart, Sandile Ngunuza, had to forfeit his winnings – which included cash and the Comrades Marathon gold medal.
Mphuthi and Ngunuza had finished 6th and 9th respectively in last year’s race, with Ngunuza later being charged for doping after his A and B sample tests showed traces of methykhexaneamine and oxilofrine, both banned substances.
Mphuthi, however, will keep his Comrades achievement, winnings and records, as he had only been under investigation, and provisionally suspended for testing positive for the anabolic steroid, nandrolone, at the Loskop ultra-marathon in 2014.
Saids chief executive, Khalid Galant, said on Monday that Mphuthi would not forfeit his winnings as his transgression was for a pending matter, and confirmed that both athletes had been suspended from athletics for two years.
Meanwhile, the Nedbank Running Club, Ngunuza’s club, said he would be suspended.
National general manager for the club, Nick Bester, said they would be represented by 800 and 1 000 runners at the Two Oceans Marathon and Comrades Marathon respectively.
He said they would continue to work closely with Saids to encourage fair play in sports.