Cape Town - South Africa's 2016 Rio Olympic Games silver medallist Luvo Manyonga has battled drug abuse for many years and openly acknowledges that it is still a daily challenge to fight his addiction.
Manyonga (26) rose to fame internationally at last year's Games when he won silver in the men's long jump.
In 2012 Manyonga was banned for 18 months after traces of methamphetamine (tik) were found in his system, and the Rio performance seemingly completed his fairy-tale.
But now, seven months after that magical night, Manyonga has confirmed that he still has to work hard on his substance abuse recovery.
Manyonga was part of a rehabilitation programme at a treatment facility in the lead up to Rio, and he has now enrolled in the facility's aftercare programme to continue with his rehabilitation and achieve his dream of becoming one of the world’s greatest ever long jumpers.
Manyonga remains fully committed to WADA and SAIDS testing requirements and as per the requirements of the facility, submits to regular monitoring.
Luvo Manyonga statement:
"I have been playing sport since an early age and I have grown to love athletics deeply
"Unfortunately I have been battling substance abuse since I was a teenager and it has been a difficult journey.
"I wanted to release this statement to show others that there is no shame in your past and empower others to shake off the stigma associated with addiction.
"Decisions such as the one I have taken to be a part of a rehabilitation movement hopefully can allow others to admit to the daily challenges.
"I am committed to staying drug free and I want to achieve great things in my career and life. To achieve my goals and dreams I understand that I will need all the support I can get.
"I want to thank my family, ASA and my support team at Newton Sports Agency for all their help and support they have given me thus far. I am excited about my future."