Former Springbok hooker Chiliboy Ralepelle has revealed his disappointment at having his career all but ended by a long-term doping ban.
Ralepelle was on Wednesday handed an eight-year ban by an independent doping tribunal panel after he tested positive for a banned anabolic substance – Zeranol – during an out-of-competition test last year.
He has been given a 21-day period in which to appeal the sentence.
Ralepelle’s lawyer, Hendrik Hugo, said that there may be grounds for an appeal which could possibly reduce the sentence to a four-year ban.
However, in an interview with Sport24, Ralepelle – without revealing whether he would appeal the judgment – said that this may be a good time to move on from his rugby career and focus on his studies.
‘We are busy trying to figure out a way forward and to discuss all possibilities,’ Ralepelle said.
‘Once we have all of those on the table, then it will make it easier for one to make a decision, whether you go ahead with the appeal or you stand back and move on with life.
‘At the end of the day, whether it’s four or eight years, it’s the end of my career. It’s just sad to see the way my career ended; it’s not the way I’d planned when I had the vision in my head.
‘But that’s life. C’est la vie. You have to swallow the hard pill and toughen up and move on.’
The 33-year-old, who captained the Springboks in a midweek match against the World XV, encouraged young sportspeople to ensure that what they are putting in their bodies is legal.
‘All I’ll say is that the athletes out there have just got to take care of themselves, look after themselves and make sure that, even if you buy bread, you know who the baker is and what they put in that bread.’
Photo: Phil Walter/Getty Images