Springbok wing Aphiwe Dyantyi is still waiting for feedback on the way forward from the Court of Arbitration for Sport after looking to lodge a direct appeal with the international body. CRAIG LEWIS reports.
Earlier this year, SARugbymag.co.za broke the news that Dyantyi had been informed of his right to lodge an appeal directly with CAS in Switzerland, which followed in the wake of a four-year ban for a doping offence handed down towards the end of 2019.
According to the initial ruling handed down to Dyantyi, he was effectively ‘banned from participating in sport from the date of 13th August 2019 [when he was provisionally suspended] to 12th August 2023’.
However, the 2018 World Rugby Breakthrough Player of the Year has found himself in a position to lodge his appeal directly with CAS because, at the time of the test, he was classified as an international athlete under the jurisdiction of World Rugby.
Dyantyi’s representatives hoped that another panel will come to a different conclusion, having insisted that the sanction should not be more than two years, even in a worst-case scenario.
There has been acknowledgement of having the banned substances in his system, but part of the defence includes the assertion that there was no intent or fault (beyond negligence) on the part of Dyantyi.
In a statement to this website towards the end of February, his agent Gert van der Merwe said: ‘We appealed to CAS to set aside the decision by the Anti-Doping Tribunal of the SA Institute for Drug-Free Sport [Saids]. That the CAS panel confirm the appeal of Dyantyi and accept that he did not intentionally ingest the banned substance nor attempt to enhance his performance by ingesting the said prohibited substance.
‘Considering that, in case of no significant fault or negligence, the sanction should, in accordance with the applicable WADA rules, be in the range of one to two years of suspension.
‘However, if the panel considered that the player did bear some fault or negligence, even if it was not significant, and that he should have taken more measures to prevent him from accidentally ingesting the ADRV [anti-doping rule violations], the CAS panel can consider that the appropriate sanction would be anything from 14 months to 24 months in light of Dyantyi’s degree of fault.’
Following up on the story exactly two months since this statement from Dyantyi’s team, it’s been confirmed that they are still waiting on the Court of Arbitration for Sport to provide details of the next steps.
This website has also repeatedly sent direct communication to CAS, but no reply has been forthcoming as yet.
SARugbymag.co.za also reached out to Dyantyi, who is well, but is not ready to speak at this time.
It was previously hoped in a best-case scenario that if the suspension were to be reduced from four to two years, for example, that Dyantyi would then be expected to be able to return to action after 12 August 2021.
However, as the waiting game continues, so any such hope will begin to fade.