World Rugby has confirmed that former South Africa player Mahlatse ‘Chiliboy’ Ralepelle has been suspended for two years for a doping offence.
The 28-year-old from South Africa underwent an out-of-competition doping control on 19 March 2014 while recovering from an operation on an anterior cruciate ligament following a knee injury he sustained while playing for Toulouse against Biarritz in France in February of that year.
The analysis of the sample returned a positive test for a metabolite of an anabolic steroid, drostanolone, which appears in Section S1.1a Anabolic Androgenic Steroids in the World Anti-Doping Agency’s 2014 list of prohibited substances.
Following the positive test the player was provisionally suspended and through his legal representatives requested additional time to conduct confidential enquiries in order to prepare his defence.
At the conclusion of those enquiries, an independent World Rugby Judicial Committee chaired by Christopher Quinlan QC (England) sat on 2 June 2015 and heard all of the evidence in the case. In considering all aspects of the case, the committee found the player to have committed an anti-doping rule violation. The committee imposed a two-year suspension, the standard sanction in the circumstances in accordance with World Rugby Regulations and the World Anti-Doping Code as in force in 2014. This suspension is taken as starting from the point of provisional suspension following the positive test and the player will be free to participate again on 10 April 2016.
Mr Ralepelle appealed the imposition of the suspension to World Rugby’s independent Post-Hearing Review Body chaired by Justice Graeme Mew (Canada), however on 3 September 2015 the player elected to discontinue his appeal.
World Rugby Chief Executive Brett Gosper said: “World Rugby operates a zero-tolerance policy on doping and players are responsible for any prohibited substance found in their body.
“Rugby is founded on fair play and the promotion of a level playing field for all players. This particular case illustrates the rigorous anti-doping programme World Rugby implements in conjunction with WADA, both in and out of competition.
“Along with our testing policy, World Rugby’s Keep Rugby Clean initiative is designed to educate players of all ages and grades about the dangers associated with taking banned substances.”
Read the full written judgment of the judicial committee here.
World Rugby has in place a comprehensive education programme which continues to evolve on www.keeprugbyclean.com. The latest e-learning programme highlights the dangers and consequences of doping.