Cape Town - Springbok and Lions wing Aphiwe Dyantyi has elected to challenge his charge of having tested positive for "multiple" banned substances.
On August 13 this year the South African Institute for Drug Free Sport (SAIDS) informed Dyantyi that an adverse analytical finding had been detected in the sample which was collected on July 2 at a Springbok training camp.
Dyantyi, who was provisionally suspended in light of the finding, exercised his right to have his 'B'-sample analysed.
That 'B' sample also returned a positive finding.
As a result, 25-year-old Dyantyi faces a four-year ban.
At the time, Dyantyi issued a statement saying: "I want to deny ever taking any prohibited substance, intentionally or negligently, to enhance my performance on the field," he said after the 'A' sample result was disclosed.
"I have never cheated and never will. The presence of this prohibited substance in my body has come as a massive shock to me."
SAIDS confirmed that the 'B'-sample was tested at the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) accredited laboratory at the University of the Free State which confirmed the 'A'-sample results of the presence of no fewer than three banned substances: metandienone, methyltestosterone and LGD-4033.
These performance-enhancing substances, which all fall under the Class S1 of banned substances, are on the 2019 List of Prohibited Substances and Methods in Sport, and are banned both in and out of competition.
Dyantyi had three options at the time of the charge:
1. Admit to the charge and accept a sanction based on the World Doping Code's framework
2. Submit a plea for consideration of a reduced sanction by providing mitigating circumstances
3. Contest the charge before an independent tribunal panel
SAIDS CEO Khalid Galant confirmed to Sport24 that Dyantyi had opted for the latter option and was busy with the process of compiling his defence and gathering evidence.
At this stage no hearing date has been set, but once it has been finalised and held, the independent tribunal panel will then hand down a final decision.
Dyantyi made his Springbok debut in June last year against England at Ellis Park and played his last Test against Wales in Cardiff on the 2018 end of year tour. To date he has 13 Test caps.
A four-year ban, backdated to the date of confirmation, would effectively rule Dyantyi out of the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France.
Combined with the predictable loss of sponsors and club and national contracts, it spells a costly road ahead for the 2018 World Rugby Breakthrough Player of the Year.