Cape Town - The South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport
(SAIDS) confirmed on Tuesday that the 2012 Comrades winner, Ludwick
Mamabolo, has tested positive for the banned stimulant methylhexaneamine
and could face a two year ban and be stripped of his title if found
guilty by an independent tribunal.
According to SAIDS CEO, Khalid
Galant, Mamabolo, the first South African athlete to win the Comrades
in seven years, was tested after he completed the Comrades on June 3,
2012, as per the normal doping control procedure for athletic events.
means the 35-year-old athlete, who came seventh last year and second in
2010, could face a sanction ranging from a warning to a two year ban
should the independent tribunal find him guilty. Galant says that banned
stimulants like methylhexaneamine give the athlete a heightened sense
of awareness, energy and euphoria and can mask fatigue levels in a race
such as the Comrades.
At the conclusion of the Comrades 2012,
SAIDS conducted 20 doping control tests, which included the top 10
finishers in the men and women’s categories.
Galant reports that
an additional runner also tested positive for a high testosterone level.
“As per the protocol for testosterone cases, we have to rule out
endogenous production (manufactured in the body) of testosterone by the
athlete’s body and any medical abnormality,” he explains. “The sample
was sent for further analysis to the Doping Control laboratory in
Cologne, Germany. SAIDS will be able to determine if indeed the athlete
tested positive for testosterone after the Cologne laboratory returns
the result in approximately four weeks.”
Samples taken at the
Comrades 2012 were also analysed for EPO, a banned substance that
enhances the production of oxygen by the blood. “EPO is often used by
endurance athletes to boost performance. None of the Comrades runners
that we tested, returned a positive test for EPO,” says Galant.
says that a hearing date will be set for an independent tribunal to
hear the charge against Ludwick Mamabolo. “The athlete will be afforded
the opportunity to defend himself against the charge of doping,” he
With regards to next steps, Galant says that Mamabolo has
the option to have his B-sample tested to ascertain a confirmation of
A-sample result. “The B-sample is a 30ml sample of the original sample
of the athlete,” he says. “The sample is divided into A and B sample at
the time of the test being performed. The two samples are independently
sealed at this stage. B-sample is only opened at the request of the
athlete. He may provide a witness to the opening of the B-sample to
ensure that it has not been tampered with.”
Galant says that due
to the high prestige and prize money associated with Comrades, the race
has always been on the SAIDS testing calendar.
Comrades winner in 1992, Charl Mattheus tested positive for a stimulant
and in 2010 Sergio Motsoeneng a top ten finisher, tested positive for
the steroid nandrolone,” he adds.
Top 10 in 2012 Comrades:
1. Ludwick Mamabolo (RSA) 5:31:03
2. Bongmusa Mthembu (RSA) 5:32:40
3. Leboka Noto (LES) 5:33:07
4. Marko Mambo (ZIM) 5:33:44
5. Leonid Shvetsov (RUS) 5:35:12
6. Stephen Muzhingi (ZIM) 5:38:02
7. Lephetesang Adoro (LES) 5:38:05
8. Gift Kehele (RSA) 5:38:39
9. Claude Moshiywa (RSA) 5:39:10
10. Petros Sosibo (RSA) 5:40:13