Aphiwe Dyantyi doping charge: What happens next?
They say seven days is a long time in rugby, but for Aphiwe Dyantyi, nine months will seem like it was just yesterday.
The 25-year-old Springbok star’s life was turned upside down on 13 August, when the South African Institute for Drug Free Sport (Saids) told him that an adverse finding had been detected in a doping test done on 2 July.
Dyantyi asked for a B sample to be tested, and on Friday, Saids reported that the same results were found.
Tested at a World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) accredited laboratory at the University of the Free State, the B sample confirmed the presence of three prohibited substances: metandienone, methyltestosterone and LGD-4033.
These are multiple anabolic steroids and metabolites, and in cases involving rugby players and metandienone over the last four years, each athlete has received a four-year ban, according to the Saids website.
Dyantyi, who became an ambassador for Nutritional Performance Labs in April, has maintained his innocence.
“I want to deny ever taking any prohibited substance, intentionally or negligently to enhance my performance on the field. I believe in hard work and fair play. I have never cheated and never will,” the Lions wing said after the initial A sample finding.
“The presence of this prohibited substance in my body has come as a massive shock to me, and together with my management team and experts appointed by them, we are doing everything we can to get to the source of this and to prove my innocence.
“Taking any prohibited substance would not only be irresponsible and something that I would never intentionally do, it would also be senseless and stupid.
“I underwent a drug-test on June 15 2019 (only two weeks prior to the July 2 testing), which did not return any adverse finding.”
But now, he has three options available to him, according to Saids.
* The first would be admitting to the charge, and accepting a sanction based on the Wada code;
* He can plea for a reduced sanction by providing mitigating circumstances; and
* He can contest the charge in front of an independent tribunal, and plead not guilty. Then, a hearing will be held within four weeks, and Dyantyi will have to provide evidence that can prove his innocence.
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Dyantyi was unlikely to make the Springbok World Cup squad due to an ongoing hamstring injury.
He has played in 13 Tests, and scored six tries.
SA Rugby said in a statement on Friday: “SA Rugby can confirm being informed by the South African Institute of Drug Free Sport (SAIDS) that an adverse analytical finding had been detected in a sample collected from Springbok wing Aphiwe Dyantyi in a doping test on 2 July 2019.
“Dyantyi’s B-sample also tested positive and he has now been formally charged with a doping offence for multiple anabolic steroids and metabolites.
“SA Rugby, the Lions Rugby Company and Dyantyi are working with SAIDS, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and all other relevant authorities on the matter and no further comment can be made at this stage.”@ashfakmohamed