Cape Town - A year-long investigation and tip-offs from whistleblowers
has resulted in bans for three cyclists in the past 18 months, says the
South African Institute for Drug Free Sport (SAIDS).
According to the SAIDS website, the organisation’s CEO Khalid Galant revealed that the convictions arose from “phase
one of an investigation being undertaken in collaboration with the
Department of Priority Crimes and Investigations (the Hawks)”.
The investigation would “continue to look at athletes, medical doctors, coaches and trainers and whether they have a role in a doping supply network”.
SAIDS announced that one of the three was veteran mountain biker Shan
Wilson, who has been banned for six years after being found guilty on
- The presence of a prohibited substance or its metabolites or markers in a sample
- Tampering or attempted tampering with any part of the doping control process
- Trafficking or attempted trafficking in any prohibited substance or prohibited method
- Administration or attempted administration to any athlete
in-competition or out-of-competition of any prohibited substance or
- Complicity (being involved with others in acts that are breaches of the regulations)
Wilson was initially tested in-competition on March 25, 2014. This
sample was negative based on the scientific, analytical protocols that
were validated at that time. An investigation into the cyclist triggered
a retroactive test on his stored sample utilising current analytical
methods. These new methods were able to determine whether the
testosterone in his sample was from an exogenous (external) source. Testosterone from an exogenous source and its metabolites were found in
his system. His other charges arose from the ongoing investigation.
All Wilson’s results, rankings, medals and prize money have been
expunged for a period of two years from that date (March 25, 2014). His
fifth place in the Grand Masters category at the 2018 Absa Cape Epic has
also been removed.
A prominent South African female mountain biker, reported by the BikeHub website to be Carmen Buchacher, was earlier banned for
two years after an adverse analytical finding for EPO (Erythropoietin)
when she was tested on the March 3 this year. She was a regular podium
finisher at events in the Western Cape.
The third athlete, a national level cyclist, has not been named as he
has appealed his four-year ban. He was charged for suspicious
variations in his Athlete Biological Passport, which he could not
explain to SAIDS’s satisfaction.
“The investigation was triggered in
significant part by whistleblowers and we are very grateful to their
efforts to keep sport clean” said Galant.
“We do take tip-offs about any sporting discipline or individuals seriously and encourage people with information on doping to come forward to us.”