Doping winner rocks Comrades

2012-06-19 16:01

Cape Town - Comrades Marathon winner Ludwick Mamabolo has tested positive for drugs - the second such finding in the event's history - the SA Institute for Drug Free Sport (SAIDS) said on Tuesday.

Mamabolo, who won the 89km ultra-marathon between Pietermaritzburg and Durban on June 3, tested positive for methylhexaneamine, SAIDS said in a statement.

"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."

Mamabolo was the first South African to win the annual ultra-marathon since Sipho Ngomane in 2005.

According to SAIDS, Mamabolo could face a two-year ban and be stripped of his title if found guilty by an independent tribunal.

If Mamabolo is stripped of the title, another South African, Bongmusa Mthembu, who finished second, will replace him as this year's winner.

Mamabolo had the option to have his B-sample tested.

"The B-sample is a 30 millilitre sample of the original sample of the athlete," Galant said.

"The sample is divided into A and B samples at the time of the test being performed.

"The two samples are independently sealed at this stage.

"(The) 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."

Charl Mattheus was stripped of the Comrades title in 1992 after testing positive for a banned substance. His fellow South African Jetman Msuthu, who finished second, was awarded the title.

Athletics South Africa (ASA) president James Evans would not comment on Mamabolo's positive test.

"We can't comment until SAIDS has finished its investigation," Evans said.

The Comrades Marathon Association was unavailable for comment, according to the receptionist, as its entire staff complement was in a meeting.

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


  • poloyatonkim - 2012-06-19 16:19

    So this guy was high the whole marathon....

      Koos - 2012-06-19 23:26

      You must be high to run 98 km. I'll take a cab.

      mhla.nombembe - 2012-06-20 10:17


  • david.b.mcfarlane - 2012-06-19 16:25

    At least this dope runner never kept his stash in his fake dreadlocks!

  • Sakhiwo - 2012-06-19 16:30

    Sad news but again well done to the guys we still claim the no.1 position

      Kevin - 2012-06-19 17:41

      Alicia, with due respect and as a former professional sportsman (in the 1970s) if you dont want to get caught with illegal substances in your system don't take anything that comes out of a bottle. These illegal substances are made freely available by corrupt coaches, doctors and other competitors. For a brief moment of glory that was stolen from the honest competitors, you spend a lifetime with the guilt and very often with physical difficulties. These drugs allow the competitor to push his body beyond its natural limits but they don't prevent the injuries and damage that is with the athlete/sportsman forever. Anti drugs, never took them, not even paracetemals for pain and not very sucessful, but I am still healhty and fit.

  • michael.harris.58367 - 2012-06-19 16:31

    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.

  • nico.eksteen.7 - 2012-06-19 16:34

    A few years ago one of the gold medal winners was caught out for only actually running the last 10km or so. LOL

      actanonverba.daniels - 2012-06-19 16:48

      Haha, remember that, it was twins that ran as one guy

      gungets.tuft - 2012-06-19 17:16

      His name was Herman Mathee - he got a lift in a car. Charl Mattheus was the first winner caught for doping in 1992. The Motsoeneng twins were caught running relays in one number as were the van der Vyfer brothers not too long ago. Seems dof to cheat for no money as the Motsoenengs, vd Vyfers and Mathee did?

  • sioux.mckenna - 2012-06-19 16:39

    Before we rush to blame Ludwick, let's wait for more info. It's the same stuff that Chillboy and Bjorn were found to have in their systems in 2010 and they were exonerated because it was in the freely available supplements given to them by their coaches.

  • glencoe.maseko - 2012-06-19 16:48

    Y do u hv Test flown to Germany...don't we have our Own Lab's ? Bt if its True than his a LOser

      Squeegee - 2012-06-19 19:40

      Write in English!

  • shalomkatekani - 2012-06-19 16:52

    least another s.a athlet wil b da winner poor mamabolo if he waz unaware dat he waz takin da drug.

  • amos.kgosiemang1 - 2012-06-19 17:15

    Bad news for our sport,the question is why Germany cant we do everythin for ourselves.

      glencoe.maseko - 2012-06-19 17:24

      I promise u his innocent

  • Khetha Hlophe - 2012-06-19 17:38

    Something is not right in this story can someone explain the sources of this drug,may RSA water.

  • Mack - 2012-06-19 17:55

    He is innocent until Proven GUILTY

  • rakuane - 2012-06-19 20:20

    It could be because he is from limpopo. Look was happened to miss semenya. Watch the space.

      Kevin - 2012-06-20 11:23

      Are you saying he is being victimized because he is from Limpopo, or are you saying he didn't know that he was breaking the rules because he's from Limpopo? Either way, that's nonsense. He's supposed to be a professional athlete and if he participates in an international event, he must comply with the Rules. NO EXCUSES!

  • ross.tucker.581 - 2012-06-19 23:31

    While we're yet to hear from Mamabolo, I strongly suspect his defense will revolve around "accidental ingestion due to contamination of a supplement". In other words, he'll claim that the banned substance came from a supplement that he was innocently taking. This is 100% plausible, and if I had to guess at this stage, I'd say likely. We know that the same thing happened to Chilliboy Ralepele and Bjorn Basson, and they were both exonerated. Mamabolo's situation is a little different, because the rugby players were able to prove that they took a supplement that the authorities had "guaranteed" to be clean. The verdict then, was that it was not their fault, and they did everything they could to avoid contamination. For Mamabolo, that seems unlikely. So what this case highlights again is the danger of supplement use for elite athletes. The blame, while partly Mamabolo's, should also lie with those who manage the athlete. This is a drug that is well known to pop up in supplements - it's very easy to take by accident, and so those in charge of these athletes have to take responsibility. more information on the supplement industry and dangers here: Unfortunately, in sport, there is a thing called "strict liability", and what this means is that the athlete is liable for everything in their body, whether it's there by accident or not. So it looks bad, and the lesson should be for everyone

  • mhla.nombembe - 2012-06-20 10:22

    Crazy staff is goin around South Africa . . I mean if they not in dreadlocks they traffic them thru blood . .

      Billy - 2012-06-20 11:48


  • phila.kunene.355 - 2012-06-20 14:19

    This is not doping by any means since methyhexaneamine is not a drug but a stimulant. A lot of energy drinks contain this stimulant in different names but the issue here is how are these tests performed. Irrespective on how one stores the urine bacteria will multiply in numbers and since these samples contain a high content of food supplements,a lot of chemical reactions happen affecting the accuracy of the tests. Going for B sample is just as useless and a waste of time. Quality control is very important when dealing with this and the content together with the nature and the form of the stimulant determined after testing. OJ Simpson was acquitted of killing his wife Nicole even when the blood found on the scene matched his 100%. This is because the blood also contained EDTA which makes the blood not to clot when collected in a specific tube and isn't readily available in the blood stream. The conclusion was that the blood was planted on the scene and the EDTA regarded as a contaminant. Methylhexaneamine is never a contaminant unless the tests can differentiate between one in solution as in energy drinks and one in prescription/solid form as in pills or powder. One can't be deemed to be over the alcohol limit to drive if the site where blood was drawn was cleaned with an alcohol swab.

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