Boks reeling from dope scandal

2010-11-16 07:13

Stephen Nell

Edinburgh - A panicked Springbok management team on Monday hurriedly sent several products to a laboratory to be tested, in order to prevent the crisis over forbidden substances in the Springbok touring squad camp from spreading.

This came after Bjorn Basson and Chiliboy Ralepelle tested positive for the forbidden stimulant methylhexaneamine. They left for home on Monday after the Bok camp received the shocking news in the early morning hours.

How the two Springboks could have tested positively is a mystery to team management. The urgent action of having products tested was taken in order to prevent any of the other Boks from unwittingly consuming the substance.

Basson and Ralepelle were both treated for flu before the Test against Ireland in Dublin. They were also the only Bok Test players who were tested for doping after the match.

No players were tested after Saturday's Test against Wales in Cardiff.

"We're doing everything we can to solve the situation. Everything in the camp is being tested. We don't want to expose the players to any risk, so we're going through everything from A to Z, including even the smallest energy drink. We've already sent the stuff away," said Bok coach Peter de Villiers on Monday.

"Eight players in the camp were tested before we came here and they were all clean. If we find something suspicious with any of the products we're having tested, we will take the next step.

"This is the third time this year that Chiliboy is tested for doping, and in both previous instances the results were negative."

De Villiers said both players were shocked when they were informed of the positive tests.

He received the news on Monday at 02:00 while he was busy with planning for this Saturday's Test against Scotland at Murrayfield.

The International Rugby Board (IRB) issued a warning about methylhexaneamine last week and said suspension for its use starts at two years. They warned against food supplements.

Ralepelle and Basson still have to decide, in consultation with their legal representatives, whether their B samples should be tested. Should the B samples confirm the positive tests, the two will have to appear at disciplinary hearings.

Although methylhexaneamine is found in nasal sprays, according to various internet sources, the Bok team doctor, Craig Roberts, said on Monday it's "highly unlikely" that the positive tests are the result of the players' treatment for flu.

"They were on flu medication, but it's medication we've been using for a long time and we've never had any problems with it."

The young Free State flyhalf Johan Goosen was recently suspended for three months after he tested positive for methylhexaneamine. Apparently it is found in certain food supplements.

"It could come from any number of sources - from food to medicine to supplements. We're now investigating to determine where it could have come from. The closest comparison I can make is with caffeine," said Roberts.

"We're investigating everything the two have in common to determine where it came from.

"It's a problematic product and various athletes have consumed it by accident. That's why it was reclassified as a specified stimulant. The punishment is far lighter then, since the substance can end up in your system by accident."

"By accident", however, will not serve as an excuse at a disciplinary hearing. The IRB's policy for trying players for forbidden substances is one of "absolute accountability". This means players are accountable and responsible for any forbidden substance found in their urine samples.


  • PhreakOz - 2010-11-16 07:52

    That's unfortunate way to end the tour for the players! Hopefully there was no intent to actually use steroids. Bring on the replacements, and continue with the grand slam! Schalk Brits is over there already isn't he? Put Hougaard on wing, and we're sorted.

      Batonage1000 - 2010-11-16 08:51

      Apparently you are not allowed to replace players on tour if they are suspended for doping.

      dumblond - 2010-11-16 11:19

      @ Batonage 1000 - "Apparently you are not allowed to replace players on tour if they are suspended for doping" - another mistake / not knowing rules made by Div on news last night. Apparently this rule is only for World Cup events, so Boks may ask for some replacements to join the team in England. Obviously Div & Dr not quite up to date with rules & what concoctions their players are taking...

  • j.malemmer - 2010-11-16 08:03

    'No players were tested after Saturday's Test against Wales in Cardiff.' Why not? I think every player should be tested after every game. Perhaps the sporting bodies should invest more research into natural medicine. Good old Honey and Lemon for flue.

      Jay - 2010-11-16 09:16

      too expensive

      Observer - 2010-11-16 11:35

      Better to spend the money and have the tests, than risk not catching anyone...and then someone is caught and everything blows up. Besides, I'm not sure I buy the reason that it's too expensive - other sports manage it.

  • Monde - 2010-11-16 08:07

    i smell a rodent...

  • Greegs - 2010-11-16 08:07

    Thank goodness....was worried that Chiliboy might come on! That sorts that then!

      louis.kriel - 2010-11-16 09:01

      My thoughts exactly!

  • Meyer - 2010-11-16 08:23

    Weird.... Basson injured and Chilliboy weakest link? Hope this is not our worst nightmare coming true....

  • powachair - 2010-11-16 08:28

    why were they the two treated for flu like symptoms and the only two tested and then both found to have positive tests. There is something that smells here.

      dumblond - 2010-11-16 08:50

      I agree - it's VERY strange that only these 2 players were tested.Obviously somebody knew they were the only 2 players treated for flu ... ?

      Liley Black - 2010-11-16 09:02

      couldn't agree with you more very smelly

      allonaa - 2010-11-16 10:40

      My sentiments exactly and what I said to my husband yesterday. Why these 2, definitely something fishy

  • spartikus2104 - 2010-11-16 08:31

    Chiliboy had 2 throws in the lineout on Saturday, and stuffed them both up, which put us under massive pressure at the end. cheers bru, enjoy your vacation.

  • Met Uysh! - 2010-11-16 08:37

    "They were on flu medication, but it's medication we've been using for a long time and we've never had any problems with it." Methylhexaneamine has only been added to the list of banned substances in 2010! So you have to relook at all your medication Dr Roberts!!

      swanepoel.leigh - 2010-11-16 14:27

      and no reported to be taken off early 2011? whats going on....

  • Desmond - 2010-11-16 08:56

    Every Sportsman knows the the active ingredient is in a very popular sports supplement called Jack3d , an athlete in the U.S. was also recently banned for using this exact same product. Our team Doctor should have been aware before allowing the guys to use the stuff!!!!

  • Chris - 2010-11-16 08:58

    Come on, get real!!! Every time a sportsman gets bust for doping, he's been treated for "flu"!!! There's no flu epidemic here! Besides, you couldn't get enough of it in your body by overdosing on "cough mixture" to even trace it! What a load of nonsense!! The feeble effort to cover it up is just as bad as the actual crime. Makes me sick! We're a great nation for making excuses for everything from crime, dishonesty in the workplace, uncontrolled corruption in government and so on. Get tough on anti-social misfits who constantly live outside the law, and subvert common decency!. Problem is, the government and the many administration gravy trains are full of them! Where in the world do you have a country that removed the death penalty from it's statute, but the Commissioner of Police says in the war against crime: "Shoot to kill"!

      CliffBradley - 2010-11-16 09:15

      You are right , I know someone who is very sick , but she checks all her medication for signs of stuff she may not consume , these are fit young guys - FLU MED MY FOOT

      pointblankza - 2010-11-16 09:19

      Do you have to shout? What's with all the exclamation marks? Speak to us, don't shout, we can't hear you when you do that.

      Observer - 2010-11-16 11:34

      Good point this...there was an earlier article which said that metha-blah blah is also used to treat indigestion, and that 9 Australian athletes were caught, but it was indigestion. Uh, yea right.

  • Lankmoedig - 2010-11-16 09:06

    The masthead "Boks reeling from dope scandal" is extremely misleading in that it suggests a willful surreptitious abuse of substances prohibited by the laws of the land - something that is not at all supported by the body of the article. Is it mere coincidence that immediately beneath this article one reads "Only about five percent of journalists know the self-regulatory ethical code for journalists or have seen it, the deputy press ombudsman says."? And then you ask why the government want to institute a "media tribunal"?

  • Hendrik - 2010-11-16 09:14

    Oops!!! Transformation of the Bok Team is set back 10 years.

      GraemeBB - 2010-11-16 12:49

      Oh Hendrik, is this a victory for you? With nanas like you, transformation never moved forward in the first place. I pray our guys wont get a harsh punishment - its not like they used steroids - boet!

  • skywalker - 2010-11-16 09:32

    These guys been dropping party pills on the party circuit....Dumb..! Clown coaching staff is spinning 'cause they know if more are tested they'll also come up positive.

  • Almaki - 2010-11-16 09:52

    Well, I'm on flu treatment at the moment. Just checked my meds, and the decongestant and nasal spray that I'm using both contain methylhexaneamine. I suspect the doctors may not have done their job properly...

  • quintusb - 2010-11-16 10:08

    methylhaxaneamine (and similar ingrediants - or maybe its the same thing with a different name) are available in numerous training supplements, i'm using a pre-work that has small amounts of it. so i'm guessing this is where the 2 got it from. i'm pretty sure if they would test the whole squad, a lot more would be tested positive - as they all use supplements, and i'm sure a few would be using some of the newer variants available (stuff that has not fully been tested)

  • Met Uysh! - 2010-11-16 10:22

    I fthe guys willingly and purposely doped, then they need to bear the brunt. I just cannot imagine that a young player with the talent of Basson would risk his promising career with something like this. They know they will be tested, they would surely not take the risk? And Chili has been tested this year and no all of a sudden he is contaminated? Somebody screwed up and I don't think it was the players. Even the team doctor's medicine book is not up to date!

      Nebula - 2010-11-16 12:44

      MU to add on, as a Biochemistry major and also taken genetics courses, Some people can not metabolise some substances especially caffeine, and if they do it can be tranformed into something else that mimics another substance. my sister has even done a PHd on this in a field called pharmacogenetics... medical doctors and administrators will shun people with knowledge on drug metabolism and gemetics e.t.c just to sensationalise the story and seem like they are doing their job... it could be surprising if 50% of the population cant actually metabolise this drug leading to its accumulation... and clearly this year its the athletes that seem to fail on this....

  • George Benecke - 2010-11-16 11:14

    Well, to be honest is this really a great loss.... It just points the finger at South Africans and we are branded as cheats.... Or maybe that is the only way to get a quota player up to the standard that might allow him on the bench.... Dope them up.... Bottom line is... more of our squad will be tested after the next match... It is a disgrace.... Even though I support the Bulls... Chilliboy doesn't belong there... He is a Shimange all over again... A bench warmer!!!!

  • garthtroffel - 2010-11-16 11:30

    they had to do something about chillie had to get him out in some way because he is playing horribly,sad that basson might go down with him because not only does he have great talent but unlike habanna he wants to play, he looks over all sad day for SARU but on a personal note i couldnt be happier Chiliboy Ralepelle might be out...

  • marco - 2010-11-16 12:18

    Allready the tabloid newspapers like The Sun in England comes out this morning saying K@K like this:"Boks' drugs fears threat test clash" meaning they (the sun varkkoppe idiots) can confidently presume the Scotland test to be scrapped."SCOTLAND'S clash with South Africa this week could be SCRAPPED after the world champs were hit by a bizarre drugs scandal,Boss Peter de Villiers has revealed EVERY Springbok could have taken the same substance. Tests are being done on a squad energy drink and if his fears are confirmed IRB chiefs could ban them all -meaning Saturday's Murrayfield game could be off ".F***ing hillbillies THE SUN is joke.Mind you this is what The Sun newspaper is all about (a)to cause major panic in the public by playing on peoples fears,(b)to put one end/side/party up against each other as they did in England around election time this past year by building up unfounded propaganda over the years so their man Cameroon can get into number 10 Downing Street and(c)always portraying their own nation and country as the best in and at everything in life and that every other ation is K@K.And still you wouldn't believe this its the number one selling newspaper in England for only 30pence you can pick one up.Like its counterparts and allies SkyNews channel,News of the World and The Times newspapers its all run by one very sick in the head media magnate named Rupert Murdoch.

  • GraemeBB - 2010-11-16 12:22

    The Ugly Truth - performance substances are widely used, and by so many. I must say this substance doesnt sound like a match winner to me - as both these guys didnt realy perform :- ) I dont think they took this substance knowingly - the sports scientists arent that stupid. Lets see what happens now - but this substance came onto the list this year, and I hear it is also being removed - so whats the big deal?

  • Gary - 2010-11-16 12:31

    ... "He received the news on Monday at 02:00 while he was busy with planning for this Saturday's Test against Scotland at Murrayfield" ... Now we now how he plans .... in his sleep!!

  • tpcbmeyer - 2010-11-16 12:37

    I say, open it all up, let the guy with the best doctor win!

  • Shenkin - 2010-11-16 13:30

    Well, well, well - now we know what was going on in the bok's changing room during half time last Saturday : Come boys, have a little snort of this and go out a-charging! - obviously it started to wear off during the last 10 minutes of the game.

      Schalk - 2010-11-16 22:07

      Sorry mate, Wales lost despite the ref allowing two clear flawed "tries". Man-up and move on. The hunger to win is something you get in the BOK team and something the Welsh team still lacks

  • Shenkin - 2010-11-16 13:43

    Well, well, well - now we know what was going on in the bok's changing room during halftime last Saturday: "come boys, take a snort of this and go out a-charging!". Obviously it was starting to wear off during the last 10 minutes....

  • Hannes - 2010-11-16 17:07

    What's this, trying to whitewash the whole thing? They were caught doping and must pay the penalty. If it was bakkies, the whole world would be calling for his head by now - but it's Chilliboy, let's be a little lenient here, please Caster... uhm...

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