Cape Town, 25th October, 2011 – SA Boxing Featherweight Champion Matima Molefe has received a two year ban from the SA Institute for Drug-Free Sport who have passed sentence following the champion testing positive for anabolic steroids after the featherweight title fight in May this year.

The banned substances were found in Molefe’s urine sample, which was taken by the Institute’s doping control officials on 29 May 2011, after the featherweight title fight in East London. Khalid Galant, CEO of the Institute of Drug-Free Sport, says that Matima tested positive for metabolites of the anabolic agent, Nandrolone.

Latest doping figures show that anabolic steroid doping amongst boxers is becoming a trend because of the misconception that steroids alone will enhance their performance and give them additional strength and power. Galant says that drug abuse by professional boxers is becoming rife, with four positives out of 87 tests reported for the period April 2010 to March 2011.

“Due to the number of adverse analytical findings that we have experienced in boxing over the last 2 to 3 years, we have increased our testing and anti-doping education to professional boxing,” he adds. “Boxing is a sport that combines high level co-ordination of gross motor skills with speed and strength. By focusing on illegal performance gains from steroids and ignoring the consequences that a doping ban can have, boxers are placing their championship status and earning potential at risk.”

He goes on to say that the promised performance gains of sports supplements and steroids have very little bearing on improved boxing skills. “Boxers are not only increasing their risk by using sports supplements, but are also wasting their money as the boxing performance gains are minimal,” says Galant. “We hope boxers will learn from these doping bans being handed down that champions are made through hard work in the gym and will not be found in some capsule or muscle powder drink.”

To help address the growing boxing doping problem, the Institute has just delivered a national anti-doping outreach programme in partnership with Boxing SA to educate boxers around the country on the dangers and risks of taking prohibited substances and consequences associated with doping.