Comrades winner fails drug test

2012-06-19 14:20

Cape Town - The South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (SAIDS) confirmed on Tuesday that the 2012 Comrades winner, Ludwick Mamabolo, has tested positive for the banned stimulant methylhexaneamine and could face a two year ban and be stripped of his title if found guilty by an independent tribunal.

According to SAIDS CEO, Khalid Galant, Mamabolo, the first South African athlete to win the Comrades in seven years, was tested after he completed the Comrades on June 3, 2012, as per the normal doping control procedure for athletic events.

This means the 35-year-old athlete, who came seventh last year and second in 2010, could face a sanction ranging from a warning to a two year ban should the independent tribunal find him guilty. Galant says that banned stimulants like methylhexaneamine give the athlete a heightened sense of awareness, energy and euphoria and can mask fatigue levels in a race such as the Comrades.

At the conclusion of the Comrades 2012, SAIDS conducted 20 doping control tests, which included the top 10 finishers in the men and women’s categories.

Galant reports that an additional runner also tested positive for a high testosterone level. “As per the protocol for testosterone cases, we have to rule out endogenous production (manufactured in the body) of testosterone by the athlete’s body and any medical abnormality,” he explains. “The sample was sent for further analysis to the Doping Control laboratory in Cologne, Germany. SAIDS will be able to determine if indeed the athlete tested positive for testosterone after the Cologne laboratory returns the result in approximately four weeks.”

Samples taken at the Comrades 2012 were also analysed for EPO, a banned substance that enhances the production of oxygen by the blood. “EPO is often used by endurance athletes to boost performance. None of the Comrades runners that we tested, returned a positive test for EPO,” says Galant.

He says that a hearing date will be set for an independent tribunal to hear the charge against Ludwick Mamabolo. “The athlete will be afforded the opportunity to defend himself against the charge of doping,” he adds.

With regards to next steps, Galant says that Mamabolo has the option to have his B-sample tested to ascertain a confirmation of A-sample result. “The B-sample is a 30ml sample of the original sample of the athlete,” he says. “The sample is divided into A and B sample at the time of the test being performed. The two samples are independently sealed at this stage. B-sample is only opened at the request of the athlete. He may provide a witness to the opening of the B-sample to ensure that it has not been tampered with.”

Galant says that due to the high prestige and prize money associated with Comrades, the race has always been on the SAIDS testing calendar.

“Previously, a Comrades winner in 1992, Charl Mattheus tested positive for a stimulant and in 2010 Sergio Motsoeneng a top ten finisher, tested positive for the steroid nandrolone,” he adds.

Top 10 in 2012 Comrades:

1. Ludwick Mamabolo (RSA) 5:31:03
2. Bongmusa Mthembu (RSA) 5:32:40

3. Leboka Noto (LES) 5:33:07
4. Marko Mambo (ZIM) 5:33:44
5. Leonid Shvetsov (RUS) 5:35:12
6. Stephen Muzhingi (ZIM) 5:38:02
7. Lephetesang Adoro (LES) 5:38:05
8. Gift Kehele (RSA) 5:38:39
9. Claude Moshiywa (RSA) 5:39:10
10. Petros Sosibo (RSA) 5:40:13


  • lionel.kemm.9 - 2012-06-19 14:22


      Rob - 2012-06-19 14:33

      All hell going to break loose now !

      Squeegee - 2012-06-19 14:34

      ARGGG! Don't you just hate it when people cheat?

      Merven - 2012-06-19 15:02

      See how this becomes another political saga.

      tuco.angeleyes - 2012-06-19 15:06

      I never saw that coming. wow!

      poloyatonkim - 2012-06-19 15:18

      He is from Limpopo, the province well known for witch craft...

      selma.botha.9 - 2012-06-19 15:28

      Damn these white people for making stimulants.

      michael.harris.58367 - 2012-06-19 15:32

      Have a look at this: It contains Methylhexaneamine. It can easily (and supposedly legally) be bought online/in store. It's also manufactured by a South African company. This is just one example of many products like this. Being a professional like he is - I can't see that he used it without knowing it's banned. Just putting it out there.

      jason.children - 2012-06-19 15:48

      Hectic!!!!! Way to bring SA down!!!

      Rodney - 2012-06-19 17:23

      Poly, this is not witchcraft, this is cheating, or are you implying a sangoma put a spell on him to make him test positive? Puhhhleeease!

      hugh.robinson.56 - 2012-06-19 18:46

      Sadly besides Rapists and Murders we have Cheats added to that list, Doping, sexuality, and as another comrades winner tried, using your brother at all levels of the sport is making SA a laughing stock. We should be a proud nation and compete with heart and the love of achievement. We should hang our heads in shame at not uniformly condeming this sort of actions as a slight on the nation.

      Preshen - 2012-06-20 08:01

      He must have been pissed off

      christopher.columbus.3950178 - 2012-06-20 08:11

      Better start spending your winnings dude!

  • James2Les5 - 2012-06-19 14:26


      Stirrer - 2012-06-19 15:11

      Now you understand why they are called "dopes".

      gungets.tuft - 2012-06-19 16:11

      Vince - don't be an #rse. The first person to test positive in Comrades was in 1992 - Charl Mattheus, so take your ignorant comment and shove it where it fits.

      Randomhero6661 - 2012-06-19 16:18

      vince... is 'eich' eish in german? just asking!

      mundu.olewega - 2012-06-19 16:45

      Way to go, make us feel real proud to be South African. A nation of cheats!

  • Deon - 2012-06-19 14:29


  • Malavi10 - 2012-06-19 14:31

    How dare he!

  • Faizie - 2012-06-19 14:31

    Dufus until proven innocent.

  • tonyzr2tx - 2012-06-19 14:34

    I did not know what I was doing???

      selma.botha.9 - 2012-06-19 15:23

      The devil made me do it.

      jason.children - 2012-06-19 15:56

      These stupid supplements with their white tendencies!

  • Raymond - 2012-06-19 14:35

    How unusual? Remember the twins some years back who cheated?

      lionel.kemm.9 - 2012-06-19 14:39

      If I can remember correctly they were caught out by the watches they were wearing,not the same,thats now what I call dumb and dumber.

      Raymond - 2012-06-19 14:46

      Correct Lionel. Stupid is as stupid does.

  • lionel.kemm.9 - 2012-06-19 14:35

    I know innocent until proven guilty but jees how dumb can one be and on top of that he took 3 months unpaid leave to train.He is the Biggest loser of all time if he is guilty.

      shaun.fuchs.9 - 2012-06-19 14:59

      Agree with you Lionel 100% - but you also have to ask yourself the question why would he take a banned substance knowing that all the gold medalist get tested, he got tested himself in 2010 and 2011 finishing 2nd and 7th respectively. Be interesting to see if he's b-sample is positive as well, if so, then if he then admits to taking the banned substance and why

      thegriffen - 2012-06-19 15:01

      Exactly! 3 months UNPAID leave to train ?... this should not be the case for a professional... bad choice, and he should be punished accordingly, but understandable no??

      daryltt - 2012-06-19 15:20

      "... has tested positive for the banned stimulant..." He is guilty. Now the people with the bigger hammer need to find him guilty too.

  • johnny.coetzee.3 - 2012-06-19 14:45

    If he is guilty, does my finishing position move one up... from 8312 to 8311 ?

      ted.muusha - 2012-06-19 14:47

      No it doesn't. You will still be last.

      lionel.kemm.9 - 2012-06-19 14:48

      lol,Congrats Johnny

      Philimsomi - 2012-06-19 14:57

      hahahaha ,@least one get to lough even on sad news!

      Malavi10 - 2012-06-19 15:01

      Yes, if they have also done the drug test on u and u r clean!

      msika.gama.5 - 2012-06-19 15:07

      Bwahahahaha!! 8312 Johnnys? Jeeez!! U must have taken a nap along the way.

      richard.wilson.3705157 - 2012-06-19 15:39

      lol. @ mishka: 8312 is good when there are another 4000 people behind you. Well done to Johnnys

      JohncarlosBiza - 2012-06-19 15:48

      Yeah, and your prize money gets increased by R2!

      Philimsomi - 2012-06-19 15:52

      bet you praying he is found guilty,you made my afternoon!!

      poloyatonkim - 2012-06-19 16:13

      hahahahahahahaha very funny Johnny

      tooka.loosh - 2012-06-20 14:10

      Maybe you get lucky and the other 8310 runners ahead of you also cheated :-)

  • neddard.mcphearson - 2012-06-19 14:45

    Apparently present in a lot of nasal I suppose it depends on the quantities found. Does seem fishy tho!

      thabotabz - 2012-06-19 16:05

      Finally some1 with a well structured common sense come forth..can we @Least try understand the products that can contain the drug, and also how many names are out the that masquerade the drug. It can appear like one was careless especially if you are you career path and or job title is not a "Professional sportName".

      iceberg.standard - 2012-06-19 16:47

      Thabotabz, my son participated in the Gauteng Rowing Championships last year. Before the event each athlete got a detailed list of all medicines that have banned substances in it as well as a list of substances which will disqualify an athlete if such substance is found in a test sample. One of the substances can be found in a nasal spray in powdered form. The list also advised how long before the event you should stop taking certain medications perscribed by a doctor - cough medicine etc. And you needed a doctor's certificate if you were taking e.g. Ritilin. So it is possible that he didn't know about the substance in his blood - they are thoroughly advised beforehand. He is also a serious athlete, why would he knowingly take a banned substance.

  • erika.tolken - 2012-06-19 14:48

    Damn! This is such a disappointment if true. We were so proud, and now this. From pride, to shame. I know it's a very small hope, but I'll hope for that B-sample. So sad. :(

      Philimsomi - 2012-06-19 14:55


  • mnbain - 2012-06-19 14:49

    You mean they were lying when they said "Winners don't use drugs!"??

  • zimbobwe.mugabe - 2012-06-19 14:49

    This guy came second last year without using stimulants. Why use them now after taking leave totrain for three months??? There should be a mistake somewhere. I hope he gets a fair trial and put this behind him.

      erika.tolken - 2012-06-19 14:51

      Let's hope there's a valid reason.

      anthonyralphwilson - 2012-06-19 14:57

      learn to read he came 7th

      nkoanejack.mathabatha - 2012-06-19 15:19

      Maybe he just wanted a win so desperately and if found guilty will dubbed the biggest loser. Compete like a man, lose or win like a man.

  • kgomotso.rasweswe - 2012-06-19 14:53

    Innocet until proven guity ....if people cn remember wat happend with caster semenya accusations were thrown at her apologies came after the damage was d one so all i cn say nw is dat we wait for the 4weeks an c if the story is stil the same ......

  • SDlomo - 2012-06-19 14:53

    Something is fishy with this, lets wait and see what he has to say for himself.....

  • Siphiwo - 2012-06-19 14:57

    That, will be bad really.....but if it is real and confirmed, he must be punished.

  • thegriffen - 2012-06-19 14:57

    Inexcusable, but possibly understandable. With some of these 'professionals' having to hold down full time jobs to support their families due to pathetic excuses for sponsorships this will continue to happen. When a Comrades win or high placing may be many times your yearly salary you can sympathise just a little... We wonder why we have no top marathon runners on the world stage?!... if ASA does not want more of the same, they will do more to acquire sponsorships for our athletes that they may earn a decent living without resorting to doping to get a big windfall. (while I don't know Ludwick's exact background, the scenario above holds true for many top runners in SA)

  • lukholo.mahlutshana - 2012-06-19 14:57

    If this guy is found guilty, this will be a slap in the face to a lot of south africans.

      lownabester - 2012-06-19 16:25

      Agree, Lukholo, we need honest sportsmen.women.

  • rocky.bell.927 - 2012-06-19 14:58

    Cheating is a much more lucrative sport. Ban the cheaters forever. That arrogant Bolt jester should also be tested.

  • Jo - 2012-06-19 15:01

    FAIL whahahaha! The Golden Boy can hang up his running shoes along with his pride.

  • ayondat - 2012-06-19 15:01

    The jury isn't yet out!Lets wait for the man himself to come foward and explain his side of the story and allow a 2nd test or B-test to be done with.And will take it from there!And it'll be indeed Devastating,as it's Shoking Now as we read this between the lines and on the wires!

  • monde.sibisi - 2012-06-19 15:03

    Ah ah ah ah.........and here we were celebrating the fact that a south african won this year, and now this!!! Wat next?

      DuToitCoetzee - 2012-06-19 16:02

      2nd] Bongmusa Mthembu (RSA) 5:32:40 Yes, it will be a disappointment, but do we not have another South African that will than be the winner? I am not sure if I red it correctly. I really hope so!!!!

  • gavindavid.vonmeyer - 2012-06-19 15:05

    Thank God the runner up is sitll a South African.

  • robbie.crouch - 2012-06-19 15:06

    This is found in a nasal decongestant too... here we go again.

  • PammmyPammmy - 2012-06-19 15:06

    Give it to Mthembu that's it. nxxx!

  • Trent Hodges - 2012-06-19 15:07

    Where's that nose spray- Im winning the Comrads next year!

      johnny.coetzee.3 - 2012-06-19 15:18

      Specially imported from Colombia...

  • Provence - 2012-06-19 15:08

    Is crime and cheating so part of who the South African has become. The world has defined a Citizen of South Africa as a 'criminal' in the same way Russians are defined as Alcoholics, Italians as lovers and Americans as arrogant and the English as boring!!!! Unfortunately we have defined ourselves, welcome to con-land.

      jo.vankatwijk - 2012-06-19 20:44

      Cheating happens in every sport in every country.

  • nhlapop - 2012-06-19 15:14

    Innocent until proven quilty.

      Deon - 2012-06-19 15:17

      Small to zero chance of him keeping the title now, even if he took it by mistake.

      Provence - 2012-06-19 15:37

      Peanut the tests completed have proven he is guilty???

  • roy.wadhams.1 - 2012-06-19 15:16

    Watch what happens next. This is going to be another "racist" decision and the ANC is going to call "foul"

  • william.hallett.9 - 2012-06-19 15:16

    I hope they took the prize money back ?????

      belinda.waghorn.3 - 2012-06-19 19:25

      None of the athletes receive their medals or prizemoney until the results from the drug tests are released.

  • reuel.leach - 2012-06-19 15:17

    What a disgrace, did he think he would get away with it? A hollow victory and a warning to all sportsmen who consider using it. Train hard and your honour will be worth it!

  • jl.mjika - 2012-06-19 15:18

    always is the case,first it was Castor Semenya and now Mamabolo.Or is because they are black,black are human too.

  • sibusiso.mkoko - 2012-06-19 15:25

    What about those boere Rugby players? Y are black successful athletes always persecuted by these white foreigners? They own these companies which sell these products. Screw ya'll.

      Joe - 2012-06-19 15:27

      bafana bafana are very successful.............lmao

      Irene - 2012-06-19 15:28

      ROTFLMFAO! A cheat remains a cheat regardless of their colour, American gangster wannabe.

      anette.smith.16 - 2012-06-19 15:29

      Which tree did you fall out of????? Are you sure you are not a non South African?

      isabel.w.stokes - 2012-06-19 15:39

      Another victim with a chip on his shoulder. All whites are racists and all blacks are oppressed. Yaaaaawn. Heard it all before: play another tune.

      Crapdetector - 2012-06-19 15:46

      Your a a-grade schmuck! All professional sportsmen are tested you blubbering idiot! Crawl back under your rock immediately!!!

      DuToitCoetzee - 2012-06-19 16:05

      Stirring so late in the day does not give goods results TROLL.!!! You should have started earlier if you need attention so desperately.

      rocky.bell.927 - 2012-06-19 16:06

      Ol' sibuso. Sure you must be joking! if not: If your brains were axle grease you wouldn't have enough to grease the dynamo on a lightening bugs ass. Eish

  • Joe - 2012-06-19 15:26


  • michael.harris.58367 - 2012-06-19 15:30

    Have a look at this: It contains Methylhexaneamine. It can easily (and supposedly legally) be bought online/in store. It's also manufactured by a South African company. This is just one example of many products like this. Being a professional like he is - I can't see that he used it without knowing it's banned. Just putting it out there.

      shaun.fuchs.9 - 2012-06-19 15:47

      I suspect he used a nasal spray or something similar as he was not feeling too well the week or 2 before comrades and wanted it to clear up before race and he was not aware of the substances contained in the spray etc - innocent mistake, yes, but he should have made sure it did not contain any banned substances knowing he was going for a Comrades win or top 10 and all gold medalists are drug tested. This mistake is going to ruin he's reputation forever, Comrades 2012 as well and Road Running in general as well

  • moloko.mathekga.5 - 2012-06-19 15:32

    black man is always a suspect in this country, first ws Caster nw Mamabolo y r u still allowing our people to enter ur marathons cause its clear u dnt want to c us succeeding.

      isabel.w.stokes - 2012-06-19 15:36

      If you're a cheat, you're a cheat and it doesn't matter what colour you are. Read the article properly and you'll see that Charl Mattheus was also found guilty. Stop being a victim and get the chip off your shoulder!

      Provence - 2012-06-19 15:39

      Moloko you are suspected of having half a brain!!

      Crapdetector - 2012-06-19 15:42

      For gods sakes man! You are a idiot! I guess the concept of sport being governed by rules is too much for you to comprehend!? Your comment is stifling in its lunacy! You are and will always be a victim. What a sad person you are. Clown.

      sgqwede - 2012-06-19 16:06

      \A black [man] is always a suspect... First it was [Caster]...\ What are you implying about Caster boet?

      gungets.tuft - 2012-06-19 16:20

      Moloko - get over yourself boet. He is not the first person to be disqualified, not even the first winner. That honour goes to Charl Mattheus - and he was white. Time for all racists, not matter what colour, to grow up. If he cheated, he must lose his medal and prize money. Simple.

      Malavi10 - 2012-06-19 16:37

      U can natural train for 20 odd years, u'll never look like those 20 yr olds Boks.

      Malavi10 - 2012-06-19 18:49 must be your father in disguise!

      stfusi - 2012-06-20 08:58

      Unfortunately, it's not about race this time around. Tests should be conducted randomly ma se kind. Athletes whether black or white know very well there are substances they must't take. There's a list various teams have in their disposal about such substances... Let's accept...

  • rivalani.mabasa - 2012-06-19 15:34

    I knew stories would be created just like in Caster Semenya's case! But when are these persecutions against each other gonna end?

  • sean.cameron.7393 - 2012-06-19 15:37

    Zapiro knew all along

  • fran.aphane - 2012-06-19 15:37

    Oh crap, I had a very strong suspicions but hey what do you tell people if you have no proof? I am embarrassed but I am also glad I didn't join the congratulatory train that was doing the rounds. Limpopo hero my foot, you have let people who believed you down seriously how can you stoop this low?

      DuToitCoetzee - 2012-06-19 16:09

      People do stupid things when desperate to win.(if he is guilty)

  • Vickela Mumby - 2012-06-19 15:38

    Shame on u!

  • Malavi10 - 2012-06-19 15:43

    Test the Springboks too, they don't look natural.

      Crapdetector - 2012-06-19 15:47

      You should be tested for the presence of what resembles a brain!

      Malavi10 - 2012-06-19 15:58

      If u believe those 20yr olds in springboks line up are man made like that, u need detect the crap out of your brain!

      Crapdetector - 2012-06-19 16:12

      You are too stupid to express in words! Knob!

      Malavi10 - 2012-06-19 16:22

      I must remind u of your mommy

      Crapdetector - 2012-06-19 16:35

      No not really. Rather of a sad, bitter, ignorant person with a huge chip on his shoulder. A victim in every sense. But well done for trying to insult me. Its the taking part that counts I guess?

      Malavi10 - 2012-06-19 16:43

      LOL! Me insulting u? So u r the victim now? U started the game crappie!

      Joe - 2012-06-19 20:38

      Lets also test Bafana Bafana for excessive use of sleeping tablets.

      orrinf8 - 2012-06-20 07:34

      after all basson is in the bok squad !!!

  • Olusunne - 2012-06-19 15:45

    can we blame Nigerian?

  • ziggamann.shepard - 2012-06-19 15:45

    This guy said he took three months unpaid leave to train for the race. Glad they didnt pay him.

  • tshepo.g.kutumela - 2012-06-19 15:47

    ...aow ba2ng, dude!!! goreleng? ddnt u thnk dey'd test u.

      Paul - 2012-06-20 07:02

      what does bathong mean

  • mdubane.dube - 2012-06-19 15:50

    I hate this stupid test

  • Crapdetector - 2012-06-19 15:57

    I blame the white devil! These white people are crazy. Trying to keep the blackman down with his silly test. Apartheid in action. And I also blame the white sangoma his\r\n muti is too powerful.

      DuToitCoetzee - 2012-06-19 16:11

      Ha, ha, ha, ha!!! Stop stirring. We are all tired after this long day.

  • ribaita.isoge - 2012-06-19 15:57

    Proves that in the world and in long and middle distance running, only Kenyans and Ethiopians don't use these drugs.....and why are Kenyans and Ethiopians not invited to the comrades????...maybe the drugs club do not want to be defeated by legitimate runners!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Dumisani Mpanza - 2012-06-19 15:58

    yes the title must b given to a deserving person,what he thinking, every top ten finishers are tested for such drugs, that will teach him a lesson.

  • milton.mthokozisisibanda - 2012-06-19 15:59

    surely this is costly why don't this test done before they get to tracks,coz if this is true what a waste of time real..

  • gerard.venter - 2012-06-19 19:50

    A lot of guys from the same club did very, very well. Will they all be tested?