Former Springbok hooker Chiliboy Ralepelle has lost his appeal against an eight-year doping ban.
Towards the end of July, Ralepelle confirmed he had instigated legal proceedings as he looked to challenge the suspension handed down by 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.
In a statement, Ralepelle’s legal team alleged that there were multiple inaccuracies in the findings and they would challenge procedural failures by the sporting body, entrusted to ensure fairness in the much-loved sport.
However, SARugbymag.co.za has received confirmation that the independent appeal panel has upheld the original sanction of eight years.
‘Ralepelle tested positive for the banned anabolic agent Zeranol, during a Sharks rugby training session on 17 January 2019,’ a statement from Saids read on Thursday.
‘The athlete contested the doping charges in front of an Independent Doping Hearing Panel. This panel found the athlete guilty of the doping offence and took into account that it was his second doping offence within a 10-year period. The 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 from sport.
‘The athlete lodged an appeal against the ban and also the drug testing process that he was subjected to. 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.’