Ralepelle’s lawyers considering appeal

Former Springbok hooker Chiliboy Ralepelle’s lawyer says there may be legal grounds on which he can appeal his long-term ban for doping.

Ralepelle was handed an eight-year ban by an independent doping tribunal panel after testing positive for a banned anabolic substance last year.

The 32-year-old, who had both his A and B samples tested, has been given a 21-day period in which to appeal the ban.

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Ralepelle’s lawyer, Hendrik Hugo, told eNCA in an interview on Wednesday that after studying the judgment they have found grounds for an appeal, but will need his go-ahead to do so.

‘Of course, it’s not the outcome we expected from a legal perspective,’ Hugo said.

‘The judgment and the merit is over 80 pages and the sanction judgment is over 20 pages and we are preparing an opinion for Ralepelle on whether, solely from a legal perspective, he should appeal.

‘We have concluded that there are definitely grounds for appeal, but we are creatures of instruction and we will take those instructions from Ralepelle on how he wants to proceed.’

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Hugo hinted that Ralepelle may be able to get the ban reduced by two years, based on the outcomes of one of the player’s previous hearings.

‘There is one example: Chiliboy was previously banned for two years and the WADA laws say that the second offence must be double the standard for the first offence.

‘In that respect, from our legal view, from a two-year previous ban, it should have been a four-year ban at best and not an eight-year ban. But we are still considering the contents of the judgment.’

Back in 2015, he was suspended for two years for a doping offence. This dated back to an out-of-competition doping control test taken the year before, when he was recovering from anterior cruciate ligament surgery following a knee injury he had sustained while playing for Toulouse against Biarritz in France.

In 2010, Ralepelle and fellow Bok Bjorn Basson also tested positive for methylhexanamine, but were found to not be at fault, as the substance was apparently contained in Springbok-approved supplements.

Photo: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images