Professional South African mountain biker Rourke Croeser has been banned from taking part in sports events for an effective four years after two doping violations.

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The South African Institute for Drug Free Sport (SAIDS) this week handed down a written decision in which it sanctioned him to a four-year ban for each of the anti-doping rule violations but they will run concurrently.   The World Anti-Doping Code obliges SAIDS to make the sanctions run concurrently because the two doping infractions occurred fairly quickly after each other and before the athlete was notified of the first offence.

Croeser returned two adverse analytical findings:

  • On August 30 last year he tested positive for Recombinant EPO, a prohibited performance enhancing substance that increases oxygen delivery to the blood. The test was taken out-of-competition in Andorra (Europe) before the Cross Country World Championships;
  • On October 3 last year he tested positive after winning the Isuzu 3 Towers Stage Race in Mpumulanga for the banned stimulant Phentermine.

Croeser requested that his B samples be tested in both cases and both confirmed the original findings.

Croeser did not dispute the findings and charges against him. As a consequence, he was deemed to have waived the right to a hearing and SAIDS last week issued a written decision.

It found that he was guilty of both anti-doping violations.

The period of ineligibility will run from November 23, 2015 to November 22, 2019.

He has been given 21 days after notification to appeal the decision.

Croeser had been expected to represent South Africa at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. On August 23, 2015 he finished 15th at a UCI World Cup cross country race in Val di Sole, Italy.