Springbok wing Aphiwe Dyantyi has opted to appeal the four-year ban handed down for a doping offence. CRAIG LEWIS reports.
In mid-December, an independent panel handed down a four-year suspension to Dyantyi after finding that he had ‘failed to satisfy the burden of proof to establish that his positive dope test was not intentional’.
The South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (Saids) later released a statement to confirm and accept the decision rendered by the panel.
This outcome followed a protracted process after the shock news in 2019 when it was confirmed that Dyantyi’s mandatory B sample had come back testing positive for three banned substances following a national training camp.
‘Mr Dyantyi is effectively banned from participating in sport from the date of 13th August 2019 when he was provisionally suspended to 12th August 2023,’ the Saids statement read in mid-December. ‘The athlete’s rights are reserved to seek relief through lodging an appeal should he believe that he has substantive grounds for an appeal.’
The 2018 World Rugby Breakthrough Player of the Year had 21 days to consider an appeal, and it has since been confirmed to SARugbymag.co.za that Dyantyi has opted to go this route.
The appeal was filed within the prescribed deadline and he has outlined his grounds for appeal.
Saids will now liaise with the appeal board and the athlete’s legal team to co-ordinate a sit-down date for the hearing.
At the time the ban was handed down in December, Dyantyi’s agent. Gert van der Merwe, told Rapport they were shocked by the outcome.
‘The decision makes no sense. I still have to read the full decision. My legal team and I plan on analysing the decision next week and we will decide whether to appeal.
‘I can’t give any details, since the case has not yet been finalised. If it were up to me, we would definitely appeal. The problem is that there are costs associated with it.
‘Aphiwe has not received a salary for the last 18 months and we’re trying to see what we can do. I believe the decision is wrong. Aphiwe can’t believe it. We were starting to get ready to play again,’ added Van der Merwe.
Sources also told Rapport that Dyantyi presented in his defence that he had unknowingly consumed the banned substances on 30 June 2019 – two days before his urine sample was taken – when he drank from a friend’s bottle during a gym session.