The South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport has confirmed that Chiliboy Ralepelle’s B-sample has revealed the presence of the banned substance Zeranol. CRAIG LEWIS reports.
The 32-year-old Sharks hooker tested positive for the substance in January when Saids executed random drug tests at Kings Park. His A-sample urine tested positive, and he then exercised the right to have his B-sample tested.
On Wednesday, Saids released a statement to confirm that the B-sample had also returned a positive finding.
‘The B-sample result of Sharks rugby player, Mahlatse Chilliboy Ralepelle, confirmed the presence of the banned substance Zeranol. During the sample collection process, the athlete divides his sample into an A-sample container (60ml) and a B-sample container (30ml) and seals both containers. The B-sample container, therefore, contains the same urine as the A-sample container.
‘Upon receipt of the athlete’s A and B-samples at the laboratory, only the A-sample’s seal is broken and the sample is then analysed for banned substances. When the presence of a banned substance is identified in the A-sample, the athlete is notified and has the option to accept the result or have the B-sample analysed to confirm or invalidate the A-sample result. Mr Ralepelle exercised his right to have his B-sample analysed.’
The statement also confirmed that the legal representative of the athlete has been informed of the test result.
‘The athlete now has the option of accepting the result and offering a guilty plea, where after a reasoned decision will be issued explaining the doping sanction. The athlete may also submit a plea for consideration of a reduced sanction by providing mitigating circumstances. Should the athlete opt to contest the sample result, a hearing of an independent tribunal panel will be convened to adjudicate over the proceeding and hand down a decision.’
Saids say they will only be able to comment further on this case after a final decision is rendered, with all doping decisions to be disclosed within 21 days of that decision.
Since the first finding, Ralepelle has publicly stated on more than one occasion that he did not knowingly consume any product to the ‘detriment of his career’.
‘The Zeranol [test] is another false allegation against me, which I deny. I did not take any of these substances,’ he said in an interview with eNCA.
‘At the end of the day, I’m a professional athlete, and it threatens my career and my future as an athlete, so it’s important that I get this cleared to prove that I am not the one who has gone and taken all these things to make myself a better person.’
In 2017, following the resolution of a case involving Zeranol, the US Anti-Doping agency sought to provide further information on the substance, which is understood to be a legal growth promotant for livestock.
‘Due to its growth promoting and presumed anabolic effects in humans, Zeranol appears on the WADA Prohibited List classified under S1.2 Other Anabolic Agents. For more than 15 years, it has been tested for in routine doping control analysis. Across the millions of urine analyses conducted and reported by WADA since 2003, there have been just six positive tests globally. Over the last 15 years, USADA has also performed more than 100,000 tests, and there has been only one Zeranol positive.
‘The risk of a positive doping test from meat contaminated with zeranol is remote. In the US, USADA has only seen the single positive test due to Zeranol in more than sixteen years.’
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