Bok drug a threat to all codes

2010-11-15 19:05

Johannesburg - The banned stimulant Springboks Bjorn Basson and Chilliboy Ralepelle were tested positive for after the team's opening Test against Ireland poses a real threat to sportsmen and sportswomen across the world, South African Institute for Drug Free Sport chairperson Dr Shuaid Manjra said on Monday.

"The fact that there have been more than 20 reported cases of methylhexaneamine found in athletes from around the world this year is very concerning," said Manjra.

"We are advising all athletes to stay away from supplements as it could be possible that these substances are found in some of the brands they are using."

Manjra was speaking shortly after the South African Rugby Union had announced that Basson and Ralepelle will not take part in any of the Springboks' remaining matches on their tour of the United Kingdom and Ireland.

It is being alleged that the caffeine-like stimulant that was found in the players' blood is because both were treated for flu before the tour.

Springbok doctor Craig Roberts said that the medicines they were administered had never raised concern in this regard and that they are investigating all possible scenarios of how it could have entered the players' bodies.

"The substance could come from many different sources," Roberts told

"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."

Manjra said that the South African Institute for Drug Free Sport are yet to take a stance on this matter, but will act in according to a set list of recommendations.

"We wouldn't pass judgement at this stage there are still procedures that have to be completed and the players still have the option to provide a B-sample for testing," said Manjara.

"The sentence for a non-specified substance is a two year ban as prescribed by the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA), but from January methylhexaneamine will be a on the list of classified illegal substances, which will mean lesser sentences."

Manjra added that further concern had arisen because the substance in question is being used as a recreational drug as well.

However, he also said that it must be noted that products containing methylhexaneamine can - for instance - be found certain products that are freely available in Australian pharmacies.

The products are believed to help with indigestion and as a result nine Australian athletes were tested positive prior Commonwealth Games in India.

Manjra said in his initial reaction to the news of the Springbok players' positive test results that there is reason to believe Basson and Ralepelle are not guilty of deliberately trying to enhance their performances.

"Both players testing positive for the same substance is an indication that they may not have been aware of what they were administered.

"It also raised the question as to what the results would have been had more players been tested."

"At this stage we are not sure what the circumstances are and can only speculate as to what - if any - the repercussions will be."

Less than a month ago former Grey College flyhalf Johan Goosen tested positive for the same stimulant.

He pleaded guilty on the charge claiming gross negligence.

According to Goosen he changes his vitamin supplements and what could have been a career ending ban was reduced to only three months by a SA Rugby Union judicial panel.


  • H.Viljoen - 2010-11-15 20:01

    Chilly boy old boy needs more than these stimulants to better his performance. Thank goodness his out of international rugby for now. Almost cost the boks the game on saturday after not finding his men on 2 occasions in the line outs.

  • Rossman - 2010-11-15 20:12

    "Methylhexaneamine" If you say it quickly it sounds like the name of some ancient Egyptian Farao's queen...on TIK (meth).

  • swart59 - 2010-11-15 20:32

    I would not be too hard on either Chilliboy Ralepela or Bjorn Basson. Judging by the very defined, bulging muscles seen on modern International Rugby players world-wide, they are probably using more than ProNutro. I strongly suspect that the 11th commandment is being followed: "don't get caught". On another note mr. Ralepelle seems to be playing better rugby then the John Smit of late - so not necessary to be so vitriolic against a guy that serves as a role model for millions of kids in the townships.

      skywalker - 2010-11-18 11:42

      At least John Smit can find the best lineout jumper in the world....maybe all Chilli needs is contacts..?

  • schjus008 - 2010-11-15 20:59

    I just think the IRB uses every rule in the book to punish the Boks. They can't handle us winning in the Northern Hemisphere! Maybe Div should state his famous speech of IRB muddling in SA success. I mean the fact that Bakkies got 9 weeks for a head but yet New Zealander counter part just 2? The fact the ref didn't pick up any infringements in the Tri Nations? Then to top it off a common medical drug that is common to everyone, not banned by medical board are used against players? I think they should allow this substance if it is harmless. The main drugs like steroids should be the bad drugs.

      mikebothma100 - 2010-11-15 21:26

      Your comments don't justify a responce!!!!! Did have a good laugh though, Thanks.

      maycenz - 2010-11-16 10:54

      hah your hilarious. Next you will be saying it was paddy o'brien that spiked their drinks!

      Graeme - 2010-11-16 14:20

      @maycenz i think u got it.. its one of them conspiracy things. lol

  • Thomas - 2010-11-15 21:38

    Chilly Boy and Basson should ask for their money back, because whatever they took didn't help then at all!!! Why isn't tests done on the whole squad before they leave , especialy the ones that have flu like symptoms or niggling injuries?

  • Dina - 2010-11-16 08:42

    I am sure both players took the stimulant without intention and am aware that a sportsman I know refused a sponsorship from a supplement company because they couldn't guarentee that it was completely free of banned products. This clearly results in tremendously unfair repercussions for players. Something else that is unfair (to readers) is the fact that the team has an accompanying journalist who is careless and clearly hasn't even bothered to proof-read the article.

      Nebula - 2010-11-16 12:37

      You are right, talk about the Journo being proudly south african eish... without the Boks, this doctor and the journo would not have these amazing jobs that get them to travel and see the world and SARU's ticket.

  • skywalker - 2010-11-18 11:40

    Hahahahahah...Now it's a Bok drug.....methinks I smell Paddy O'Brian's hand in this saga.

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