• Dyantyi arrives at career crossroads

    Aphiwe Dyantyi’s hearing into a doping offence will start on Tuesday in a career-defining week for the former World Rugby Breakthrough Player of the Year.

    Just over a year ago, the bombshell news broke that Dyantyi’s mandatory B sample had come back testing positive for three banned substances following a national training camp.

    Dyantyi, the World Rugby Breakthrough Player of 2018, subsequently released a statement in which he denied taking any banned substances, but has since been seeing out a provisional suspension from all forms of rugby, pending a hearing.

    That long-awaited hearing is now set to start this week after delays caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

    It’s said that witnesses will present testimony ‘virtually’, while the senior lawyer for the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (Saids) is expected to provide his interrogation via a conference call from London.

    The rest of the representatives will all be physically present in a conference room, while Saids has told SARugbymag.co.za it will provide a summary at the end of the week.

    At the end of August, Dyantyi turned just 26 years old, and he will now be fighting for both his career and the restoration of his reputation.

    In a recent interview with Sport24, the former Springbok wing revealed how he suffered an anxiety attack when he left the house for the first time in months following his positive test.

    ‘Some guy helped me a lot and he took me to the hospital, but I don’t remember much about what happened,’ he said.

    ‘Fortunately, the doctor knew the situation and who I was and he kept everything on the low, which was good. My mom still doesn’t know about that. I just didn’t want to add pressure on to my parents or have them worry about me. Everyone was worried enough.’

    READ: Dyantyi opens up about anxiety

    Earlier this year, former Springbok and Sharks hooker Chiliboy Ralepelle was handed an eight-year ban after testing positive for banned anabolic substance Zeranol during an out-of-competition random test at Kings Park in January 2019. He will be appealing the ban.

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    Craig Lewis