By Elliot Mathye
SPRINGBOK rugby players Bjorn Basson and Chiliboy Ralepelle will have to wait a little longer before they could know their fate after the judicial committee of the South African Rugby Union in Cape Town delay the outcome of their case.
This after the duo failed a drug test which were conducted after the Springboks’ Test match against Ireland in Dublin on November 6 last year. They tested positive for the banned substance methylhexaneamine after the first Test of the team’s Grand Slam and were both immediately sent home. Their “B” samples later also tested positive.
Both players reportedly denied knowingly taking the substance. Officials believe that a nutritional supplement taken by all the players during the five-week tour may have caused the positive tests and its treatment is likely to be reviewed during the investigation. The examination, which will be conducted by a three-man committee selected by Saru intended to set the record straight.
Bjorn Basson has reacted to media reports in which he allegedly criticises Saru on the way he was treated since his positive doping test following the test against Wales. “I would like to state that I have been quoted out of context and that I never intended to criticise SARU. It was an enormous disappointment not to have completed the tour and return to South Africa. In its totality it was a frustrating experience that I never want to experience again”, said a frustrated Basson.
They were suspended under International Rugby Board rules and were banned from all rugby activities until the matter was resolved. Neither contested the testing procedure, which allowed the investigation and hearing to take place in South Africa. Methylhexaneamine, which can be used as a nasal decongestant and is found in nutritional supplements, was added to the World Anti-Doping Agency’s list of banned substances last year.
“It was neither any person nor organisation that frustrated me but rather the situation that I found myself in. If the impression has been created that I was unhappy and trying to put SARU in a bad light, I wish to apologise to SARU. I will not comment on this matter any further as my focus and attention is now only with the hearing that will takes place today,” concluded Basson.