05 October 2015: Thirty South African sportsmen and women were caught doping in 2014/15. Another 12 athletes at school level were also found to have traces of illegal substances in their systems. The figures are contained in the latest South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (SAIDS) annual report. A total of 2 730 tests were done during the year leading up to March 2015, with rugby, athletics and cycling accounting for most of those.
Of the 30 adverse analytical findings (positive tests), 11 were from rugby, nine from athletics, and six from cycling (four road cyclists and two mountain bikers). Two powerlifters were found to have illicit products in their systems and one each from wrestling and judo.
SAIDS carried out 2019 urine tests, 402 EPO tests and 309 blood tests during the time. The majority of positive tests were for anabolic agents, typically used by athletes to bulk up.
A total of 173 urine tests were also carried out in terms of the “schools testing protocol” between SAIDS and participating schools, and 12 tested positive.
SAIDS CEO Khalid Galant said the statistics confirmed that the organisation will continue to pursue a robust testing programme that serves as a deterrence against drug cheats in sport. In his CEO’s report he revealed that SAIDS was helping review the existing Drug-Free sport legislation.
“Among the proposed new legislation will be steps designed to address issues around the testing of high school learners for performance enhancing and illicit drugs,” said Galant.