No further appeal pursuit from Ralepelle

Former Springbok hooker Chiliboy Ralepelle will not pursue an appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) after initially contesting an eight-year doping ban last year. CRAIG LEWIS reports.

On Wednesday, it was revealed that Bok wing Aphiwe Dyantyi has the option to lodge an appeal directly with CAS in Switzerland instead of going through the national appeal process.

READ: New development in Dyantyi case

In early January, it was confirmed that Dyantyi had opted to appeal the four-year ban handed down for a doping offence, and now it remains to be seen when the next hearing date may be set.

In another case that has headlined South African rugby in recent times, Ralepelle suggested in July 2020 that he would instigate legal proceedings as he looked to challenge the suspension handed down by the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (Saids) after he had tested positive for the anabolic agent Zeranol during an out-of-competition test on 17 January 2019.

Ralepelle’s legal team alleged that there were multiple inaccuracies in the findings and that they would ‘challenge procedural failures by the sporting body, entrusted to ensure fairness in the much-loved sport’.

However, Saids upheld its position, stating that an independent panel relied on the sanction’s framework in the World Anti-Doping Code that granted them the jurisdiction to hand down an eight-year ban.

‘The athlete lodged an appeal against the ban and also the drug-testing process that he was subjected to,’ a statement read last November. ‘An Independent Appeal Panel heard the grounds for appeal. The Appeal Panel found that the panel that heard the hearing, in the first instance, had not erred in their application of the sanction’s framework in the World Anti-Doping Code.

‘The Appeal Panel therefore upheld the original sanction of eight years. Mr Ralepelle’s ban from sport is backdated to 17 January 2019 for eight years. If the athlete does not accept the decision, he may seek relief at the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland.’

Yet, it’s since been confirmed that there will be no such approach to CAS from the 34-year-old.

‘Ralepelle, who failed to have his sanction overturned/reduced by the national appeals panel has withdrawn his appeal that he lodged to CAS,’ Saids CEO Khalid Galant confirmed on Thursday.

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Craig Lewis