LONDON – South African Olympic swimming gold medallist Roland Schoeman has been banned for a year after testing positive for a banned substance last May, governing body FINA said on Thursday.
The 39-year-old's ban runs until May 17, 2020.
Schoeman won gold in the 4x100 freestyle relay at the 2004 Athens Games plus individual silver and bronze medals in the 100 and 50m freestyle. He also competed in the 2000, 2008 and 2012 Olympics.
The triple world champion failed to qualify for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics but had said last year he was still hoping to qualify for one more Games.
FINA said Schoeman tested positive for the prohibited substance GW501516, a hormone and metabolic modulator, at an out-of-competition control on May 18 last year.
The substance GW501516 is banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency in the category of “hormones and metabolic modulators.” WADA alerted athletes in 2013 that GW501516 failed medical trials and was a toxic threat to health if used as a performance enhancer.
“(It’s) a developmental drug that was withdrawn from research by the pharmaceutical company and terminated when serious toxicities were discovered in pre-clinical studies,” WADA warned seven years ago.