The World Anti-Doping Authority (WADA) has revealed that during 2014 the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (SAIDS) took 1 854 doping control samples from athletes.
That means an average of five tests were done every day during the year.
A total of 55 of the doping control samples gave rise to adverse analytical findings (AAFs or positive tests), according to the WADA annual report for the year in question. 14 of these cases were not pursued because of therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs), seven were found to have no case to answer.
The remaining 34 were therefore anti-doping rule violations (ADRVs).
The country was, however, well out of the top 10 offenders in the world. They were the Russian Federation (148 ADRVs), Italy (123), India (96), Belgium (91), France (91), Turkey (73), Australia (49), China (49), Brazil (46) and the Republic of Korea, more commonly known as South Korea (43).
“Our trends are generally consistent with those in other countries and have plateaued over the past years after showing steady increases,” said South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (SAIDS) CEO Khalid Galant. “The sports where doping is an issue are generally those which require power and bulk or those that reward endurance.”
“We remain committed to our mission of protecting clean athletes and ensuring that our drug testing program is an effective deterrent against doping among South African sportspeople,” said Galant.
Turning to the various sporting codes, the WADA report – which was released last month – revealed that 15 South African rugby union players had been guilty of ADRVs. Next in line was athletics with five, cycling with three, powerlifting and wrestling (two each). The following sports had one ADRV each during the year: bodybuilding, golf, judo and triathlon.
As far as international codes are concerned, athletics was the worst offender with 248 ADRVs. It was joined in the Top 10 by bodybuilding (225), cycling (168), weightlifting (143), powerlifting (116), football (80), wrestling (56), boxing (49), rugby union (40) and aquatics (32). An additional 326 ADRVs were recorded across all the other sports, from judo through to handball, curling, petanque and pencak silat (a variety of martial arts disciplines originating in Indonesia).