South African Rugby
Springbok doping decision delayed
January 25, 2011
Bjorn Basson must wait to hear his fate © Getty Images
The judicial committee investigating doping charges against Springboks Chiliboy Ralepelle and Bjorn Basson has reserved judgement after hearing evidence from both players in Cape Town on Tuesday.
Ralepelle and Basson, who are both contracted to the Pretoria-based Bulls, tested positive for the banned stimulant methylhexaneamine after South Africa's 23-21 win over Ireland in November and were subsequently sent home from the tour of Britain and Ireland. Their 'B' samples also tested positive.
The pair were immediately suspended by the IRB and banned from all rugby activities, disrupting the Bulls' plans for their Super Rugby defence following a high-profile swoop to secure Basson's signature in September last year.
The committee, appointed by the South African Rugby Union (SARU), heard three-and-a-half hours of evidence from the two players, witnesses and SARU management and will now take time to deliberate before returning their findings.
A SARU statement read: "A judicial committee appointed by the South African Rugby Union (SARU) to investigate the anti-doping charges against Springboks Bjorn Basson and Chiliboy Ralepelle, reserved judgement in the case in Cape Town on Tuesday.
"A press conference to announce the verdict will be scheduled by SARU once the committee has completed its deliberations."
Following the test results South Africa's team management immediately stopped the use of all supplements and launched an investigation into the source of the positive tests.
Methylhexaneamine was originally intended to be used as a nasal decongestant but it is now a common ingredient in dietary supplements. It normally stays in the body for 24 hours. The World Anti-Doping Agency added methylhexaneamine to their banned list in 2009, but downgraded its classification at the start of this year to reflect the number of inadvertent positive tests.
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