Doping: Theron backs Basson
Bloemfontein – Dawie Theron is convinced that Springbok wing, Bjorn Basson, unwittingly used the banned stimulant, methylhexaneamine.
As coach for the Griquas, Theron had been grooming Basson for bigger things since 2007 and was stunned on Monday to learn that the wing and hooker Chiliboy Ralepelle had been suspended for using the banned substance.
"It felt as if one of my top players had been in a serious accident after I heard the news about Bjorn," said Theron.
"I really can't believe it, and expected it least of all from Bjorn. I am now waiting for more facts, but I believe that Bjorn used the stimulant unwittingly."
The Griquas coach said that 23-year-old Basson was one of the most disciplined players and someone who watched what he ate and drank during his days at Griquas.
Meanwhile, a well known South African rugby statistician, Frikkie van Rensburg, said Basson would miss another South African record due to his injured right ankle and his suspension.
"Bjorn has scored 34 tries this year and needed one more to match former Bok wing, Pieter Hendriks's South African record of 35 tries in a season," said Van Rensburg.