Fear of more Bok positive tests

2010-11-15 16:54

Gavin Rich - SuperSport

London - Springbok coach Peter de Villiers says that his management team is working around the clock to ensure that all possible scenarios which could have led to the positive testing of two players for banned substances are properly investigated.

Reserve hooker Chiliboy Ralepelle is returning home after testing positive for the banned stimulant methylhexaneamine, and he is joined by wing Bjorn Basson, who was travelling home anyway with an ankle injury but who has also subsequently found out that he tested positive.

The pair were the two South African players singled out in a random test conducted on the Springbok and Ireland teams after the Test match in Dublin on November 6.

IRB legislation stipulates that players who are tested positive for any banned substance are suspended from all rugby. The pair are due to fly back to South Africa on Monday night.

According to De Villiers, his management were alerted of the situation at 02:00 UK time this morning and the management have been working tirelessly since then to ensure every possible avenue is investigated, including sending the team’s energy drinks for scientific testing.

“We have done quite a bit already, we are busy sending stuff for testing. Obviously we have to look at what might have caused this and we don’t want to put the players at risk. If there is something that we are taking as a squad that might have caused this then we must find that out now,” said De Villiers.

“When I informed the two players that they had been tested positive they were both extremely shocked and disappointed. The rest of the team were also gutted when they heard. I was informed of this at 02:00 this morning, and now we must follow the correct processes as laid down by the IRB.”

De Villiers said that eight players in the squad had been tested for banned substances before departure from South Africa and no traces of any banned substance had been discovered.

"As you know, we are quite strict about this issue back home and the players are constantly being tested," said De Villiers.

As Ralepelle and Basson were the only two Boks to be tested in Ireland, and they both tested positive, there is clearly an understandable fear that the rest of the squad might also have the banned substance in their system.

Team doctor Craig Roberts confirmed that both players were on medication for flu symptoms, but he stressed that the medication that they were on has been in use for a long time without there being any problems.

“In terms of the IRB doping regulations the sanctions are less severe for this particular substance, it is one of those substances everyone appears to be having a bit of difficulty deciding about,” said Roberts.

According to Roberts, the pair returned an adverse analytical finding for the substance, which is a non-specified stimulant on the prohibited substances list of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). Is scheduled to be re-classified as a specified stimulant from January 1, 2011.

“The substance could come from many different sources, like the caffeine substances. What we are doing now is going through the process of looking at all the possibilities and exhausting them one by one. Obviously we need to get to the bottom of this as quickly as possible,” said Roberts.

According to online research, the substance was initially intended for use as a nasal decongestant, but has since been has been marketed by certain companies as a dietary supplement in combination with caffeine and other ingredients.

De Villiers said that in terms of the IRB regulations no replacements for the banned players, who both have the right to submit B samples for testing, was permitted. As Basson was flying home anyway after being injured he was asked if he would call up a wing replacement, but De Villiers said that it would be impossible to do now.

“If we did that people would think that we were just covering up (when we decided to send Basson home injured) and we are not prepared to do that, we don’t want to take that risk. We want to play this by the book,” said the coach.

Springbok communications manager Andy Colquhoun pointed out that the Bok management were not at liberty to speak too much about the issue because it was a legal matter bound by IRB legislation.


  • WernerBeytel - 2010-11-15 17:07

    How can the team doctor prescribe medication that contains a banned substance? There is absolutely no excuse for such shocking incompetence! The list of banned substances is freely available online and anyone with internet access and basic Google skills can check if a specific medicine contains any of the banned ingredients.

      tdk25 - 2010-11-15 17:22

      Are you reading the same story I'm reading??? Where in the article does it say "Team doctor prescribed medication containing banned substance??"....Please read before jumping to "incompetence?"....

      WernerBeytel - 2010-11-15 17:38

      tdk25, did you happen to read the following paragraph: "Team doctor Craig Roberts confirmed that both players were on medication for flu symptoms, but he stressed that the medication that they were on as been in use for a long time without there being any problems."?

      Mr D - 2010-11-15 17:44

      Team doctor Craig Roberts confirmed that both players were on medication for flu symptoms, but he stressed that the medication that they were on as been in use for a long time without there being any problems. So its not the Doc he is off the hook but the boytjies not and If tested pos fire them with no game money, dont like the CBR anyway....

      Dan the Man - 2010-11-15 17:47

      It doesn't however say that the medication contains said substance, merely that both players had taken flu medication at some point on the tour. Like tdk25 says, read the article before making assumptions...

      WernerBeytel - 2010-11-15 17:50

      Furthermore, if you Google methylhexaneamine, you will find that it is used as a nasal decongestant. Now lets add all the facts together. The banned substance is used as a nasal decongestant. The team doctor treated both players for flu symptoms. Both the players then tested positive for Methylhexaneamine. 1 + 1 = 2!

      reinliz - 2010-11-15 18:06

      Does the paragraph state that the medication contained the substance? No. If it did, they would know that by now and wouldn't have to test other possible fluid/solid intakes that could affect the whole squad, as the whole squad was not being treated for flu symptoms.

      WernerBeytel - 2010-11-15 18:19

      Yes, reinliz, it is of course possible that it is all a massive coincidence. But how likely is it that? What are the odds that two players being treated for flu symptoms also just happened to test positive for a banned substance that is also used as a decongestant?

      Bradley - 2010-11-15 22:14

      A nasal decongestant produced by a pharmaceutical company does not have any surprise contents.. Those companies are extremely well regulated. However supplements and drinks etc often have substances that the user might not be aware of. You're clearly out of your depth here. Let him be the doctor..

      croix - 2010-11-16 04:22

      WB - the dr might not have 'prescribed' the medicine, but it is still the dr and team management's duty to coach players (and especially new players) which medicines / foodstuffs / supplements to avoid at all costs. This entails absolutely EVEYTHING the players eat,drink or take as supplements. The professionalism of the game today requires total vigilance. Opposition team managers, the press and all other 'interested parties' will do ANYthing to scupper team confidence / morale. Yes, I agree - the team management is responsible, but so is each individual player.

  • Shaun - 2010-11-15 17:29

    What about Gio Aplon he is a monster?

      WernerBeytel - 2010-11-15 17:54

      Agreed, he put in a least 2 try saving tackles.

      graydon.meneses - 2010-11-16 14:13

      in a game where very few boks stood out, you gotta admit Aplon's tackling was epic.

  • Stephen - 2010-11-15 18:07

    The guys had flu ... Methylhexaneamine (Forthan, Forthane, Floradrene, Geranamine), also known as dimethylamylamine (DMAA), is a drug used as a nasal decongestant. The guys are sportmen ... Methylhexaneamine is a constituent of flower oil, sold as an integral component of nutritional supplements. Div, I guess you don't have to look to far then !!!

      Zion - 2010-11-17 17:31

      You mean the manne were smelling the flowers?

  • Banned - 2010-11-15 18:14

    The drug has been on the banned list since 2009 for the 2010 season. The drug is always used in "party pills"

  • TheGreatWhiteWynand - 2010-11-15 18:33

    Please oh PLEASE... Don't send another hooker to replace Chilliboy.... Schalk Brits is already there... accustomed to the environment and knowledgeable for all the England players!

      Derick - 2010-11-15 19:04

      If you read correctly, the IRB prohibits any replacements after members of a team have been found guilty of a banned substance. Therefore De Villiers is not permitted to replace the two affected positions/players.

      Colin Klinkert - 2010-11-15 19:04

      They cant call up another hooker, but they took Adriaan Strauss in the tour party from the start, so they have 2 hookers anyways

      FerretGee - 2010-11-15 20:03

      Technically they could fight for one replacement because Basson was injured before the dope test. But PDivvy has indicated that he wasn't going to call for replacements anyway. Sad thing is that Habana will get another run now even with his bad form!

  • cee dee - 2010-11-15 19:02

    I hope for their sake that it is nasal congestant... I would not want to see an up-and-comin player like BB banned for life

  • cee dee - 2010-11-15 19:09

    Those Boks are dope

      dushaas - 2010-11-16 07:34

      lol only Bjorn

  • PeteP - 2010-11-15 20:17

    Only thing the Doctor did not say is that the nasal spray he gave contained methylhexaneamine because that will be an admission of guilt. Previous after the Irish game I saw PdV did shake the hand of this tall fellow, which seemed a bit strange, as if he ignored him. Last week in an interview i established it to be the Doctor. Maybe that said something was he instructed and refused and was persuaded this week?

  • Thomas - 2010-11-15 21:54

    The biggest bombshell here is they fear more tests may be positive!!! They either know something or know someones dropped the ball!. You have a medical team who should know what the players are receiving, or be told by the players if they have self medicated.

  • swart59 - 2010-11-15 23:44

    I am wondering how it came about that there were only 2 team members with positive drug tests. If these were the only 2 positives amongst a larger group of Springboks tested, then it would be somewhat reassuring. However, if they were the only 2 randomly tested and both were positive, it seems probable to assume that more Springboks would have tested positive. That would perhaps point to a management issue rather than just individual responsibilty.

  • mikeas7 - 2010-11-16 00:16

    The most concerning issue here is the lack of professionalism. All professional sportsmen/women worldwide know not to take ANY substance/supplement without the approval of the Team medics. If this is so in the Bok camp then the doctor should be saying categorically that the two players broke this fundamental tenet ... but instead he is going er, but, if , perhaps ... looking for excuses ... If he gave approval for whatever it was, then he should be axed immediately.

  • Thomas - 2010-11-16 01:24

    I don't know why they were banned! After watching them play it could not have been a performance enhancing drug.

      Neyven - 2010-11-16 04:13

      Spot on

  • Meyer - 2010-11-16 08:32

    Eish Guys & Gals. I read hectic sh*t into this story. Hold on to your seats... Biiiiiiiiiiiiig K*k gonna happen if this gets taken further.

  • chucky - 2010-11-16 08:35

    I smell sabotage... Could someone be trying to unsettle the Bok camp ahead of next years World Cup?

      hugohersel - 2010-11-16 12:43

      I wonder what would happen if an investigation shows that the boks drinks/food/other consumables were spiked! Wouldn't surprise me in the least.

      graydon.meneses - 2010-11-16 14:12

      yeeeeeah! And if you're gonna sabotage the Boks, of course drugging Chilliboy makes perfect sense.

      Zion - 2010-11-17 17:39

      Yessss, here we have the perfect setting for a good and solid conspiracy. The Suzie of 1995 is to day a real old hag and must be replaced pronto.

  • skywalker - 2010-11-16 08:46

    Players should be tested for cocaine....after all that's why they use nasal decongestment.

  • skywalker - 2010-11-16 09:34

    I won't be surprised if the IRB demands tests on all Bok players...they can't possibly all have flu..?

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