Tiaan Smit wins the 110m hurdles at the 2017 Athletics SA Championships. Photo: Roger Sedres/BackpagePix

JOHANNESBURG - South African 110m hurdles champion Tiaan Smit is likely to be stripped of his national title after he received a four-year ban for testing positive for a banned substance.

Smit tested positive for clenbuterol, a banned anabolic agent, which is sometimes used as a performance enhancer to increase lean muscle mass and reduce body fat.

His A-samples, taken after Smit upset Rio Olympian Antonio Alkana at the SA Senior Championships in Potchefstroom in April, returned an adverse analytical finding.

While the tribunal panel had ruled on his sanction, Athletics South Africa would have to decide whether it would strip Smit of his title. Smit waived his right to have his B-sample analysed and was provisionally suspended from competing from May 25.

In his submission, during the hearing, Smit admitted to taking clenbuterol with the aim of losing two to three kilogrammes.

“The athlete admitted it was very negligent of him not to ask his doctor or coach or to do some research on products,” the disciplinary panel said in its ruling. He stopped using the substance as the side effects got the better of him; sleeplessness, shakings, irritableness, sweating et cetera.”

Smith was subsequently given a four-year ban and he will be eligible to compete again in May 2021.

“He is an experienced athlete and the fact that he did not make a substantial effort to find out what he was using, taking into account all the resources to his disposal, is in itself a big departure from the expected standard of behaviour of such an athlete,” read the tribunal’s judgment.

“Meaning, an athlete of this profile who competes at a national level, who is aware of anti-doping rules, who was tested twice before but yet did not take any measures to make sure that what he was about to use is not on the banned list.”

Smith is the second top South African athlete over the last year to test positive for a banned substance.

Discus throw ace and Rio Olympics Games hopeful - before his ban - Victor Hogan recently returned from serving a nine-month ban after he tested positive for methylhexaneamine.

The Star

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