Hadebe has quit rugby, Sharks confirm
Durban - Outgoing Sharks CEO John Smit says the union was saddened to hear the news of hooker Monde Hadebe being banned for doping.
Hadebe, 25, was on Wednesday banned from rugby for four years for a steroid-related doping offence.
He tested positive for two forbidden forms of steroid, Khalid Galant, chief executive officer for the SA Institute for Drug-Free Sport (SAIDS), confirmed.
Reacting to the SAIDS findings, Smit told the Sharks’ official website: “We are saddened to hear the news about Monde Hadebe. Monde is a man of integrity and a leader in his own right, who, over the years, has been a great ambassador for the Sharks.”
Smit, who will be replaced by Gary Teichmann as Sharks CEO later this year, also revealed that Hadebe had already quit the sport earlier this year.
“Due to a reoccurring injury that hampered his rugby progress he took the decision to retire from rugby at the beginning of the year, prior to SAIDS findings, and has successfully started a corporate career," added Smit.
“Monde had acknowledged his mistake in not being more careful and is most remorseful, and had co-operated with SAIDS from the outset, whilst they carried out their investigation.
“The Sharks support and acknowledge the great work that the Anti-Doping Council carries out, and we will continue to educate and provide guidance to our players on the importance of making informed decisions and to know exactly what they take into their bodies and whether or not that is permissible.”
Durban-born and educated at Westville Boys’ High School, Hadebe made three appearances for the Sharks in Super Rugby 2015 - against the Force, Lions and Bulls.
Hadebe has not featured for the franchise this year; he went to the Kings in pre-season for a trial period but returned to Durban having seemingly picked up an injury.
Meanwhile, in further bombshell developments that will bring the credibility of South African rugby into sharp focus, several players from slightly lower levels of competition domestically have fallen foul of doping charges.
These are known to include Border Under-21 lock Chase Benito (four years), Griquas Under-21 loose forward Nico Graaff (two years) and Border’s Currie Cup-level loose forward Lukhanyo Nomzanga.
Former EP Kings flank Siyanda Mangaliso, first banned for doping in 2013, has been collared again, whilst it has also been established that a Boland Under-19 player has been handed a three-year ban although an appeal hearing is imminent in his case.