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Former Springbok given lengthy ban after third positive doping test

Chiliboy Ralepelle

The career of former Springbok captain Mahlatse ‘Chiliboy’ Ralepelle is in tatters after receiving an eight-year ban for the third positive doping test of his career.

Ralepelle, 33, tested positive for the banned anabolic agent, zeranol, from a sample taken on January 17 last year.

“The panel reached a decision first on the merits of the case where they found the player guilty of a doping offense,” said a statement from the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport.

“The Independent Doping Tribunal Panel ruled that Mr Ralepelle must serve an eight-year ban for doping. The ban will expire on the 27th January 2027. The player has 21 days within which to file an appeal against the sanction.

“The athlete challenged the doping charge and was afforded the opportunity to seek legal counsel to present his case and version of events to the tribunal panel.”

It comes ten years after the hooker was sent home from the Springboks’ tour of the northern hemisphere after testing positive for the diet supplement, methylhexanamine. But Ralepelle was later only reprimanded as the banned agent is not typically used in South African supplements but is in British versions.

In 2014, the 25-cap forward was banned for two years and had his contract at Toulouse terminated when testing positive for anabolic steroid, drostanolone.

When Ralepelle’s ban expired in 2016 he returned to professional rugby with the Sharks in Super Rugby, making 35 appearances before he was released in 2018.

The tribunal is also set to announce its verdict in the case of Springbok winger Apihwe Dyantyi, who returned a positive first test and re-test on July 2, 2019.

World Rugby’s Breakthrough Player of the Year for 2018 appeared certain to play for the Springboks at the World Cup but was charged after his first sample reportedly contained ‘multiple anabolic steroids’.

Dyantyi, who denies taking the substances, could face a four-year ban and has the right to sumbit a plea or provide any mitigating circumstances if he is sanctioned.

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