Cape Town - World Rugby has confirmed that Springbok hooker Chiliboy Ralepelle is suspended for two years for a doping offence.
The 28-year-old, who played 23 Tests for the Springboks between 2006 and 2013, underwent an out-of-competition doping control test on March 19, 2014.
He was recovering from an operation on an anterior cruciate ligament following a knee injury he sustained while playing for Toulouse against Biarritz in France in February last year.
The analysis of the sample returned a positive test for a metabolite of an anabolic steroid, drostanolone, which appears in Section S1.1a Anabolic Androgenic Steroids in the World Anti-Doping Agency’s 2014 list of prohibited substances.
Following the positive test, Ralepelle was provisionally suspended and through his legal representatives requested additional time to conduct confidential enquiries in order to prepare his defence.
At the conclusion of those enquiries, an independent World Rugby Judicial Committee - chaired by Christopher Quinlan of England - sat on June 2 this year and heard all of the evidence in the case.
In considering all aspects of the case, the committee found Ralepelle to have committed an anti-doping rule violation.
The committee imposed a two-year suspension, the standard sanction in the circumstances in accordance with World Rugby Regulations and the World Anti-Doping Code as in force in 2014.
This suspension is taken as starting from the point of provisional suspension following the positive test and the player will be free to participate again on April 10, 2016.
Ralepelle appealed the imposition of the suspension to World Rugby’s independent Post-Hearing Review Body but elected to discontinue his appeal last week.
“World Rugby operates a zero-tolerance policy on doping and players are responsible for any prohibited substance found in their body,” World Rugby Chief Executive Brett Gosper told World Ruby’s official anti-doping website.
“Rugby is founded on fair play and the promotion of a level playing field for all players. This particular case illustrates the rigorous anti-doping programme World Rugby implements in conjunction with WADA, both in and out of competition.
“Along with our testing policy, World Rugby’s Keep Rugby Clean initiative is designed to educate players of all ages and grades about the dangers associated with taking banned substances.”