By Thabisile Masimula
USAGE OF BANNED SUBSTANCES in sports is on the rise as more sportsmen are continuously testing positive for doping.
It first hit the international sporting scene and now this phenomenon has found its way into the South African sportsmen.
The latest case of doping is that of the country’s top cyclist Michael Dean Pepper who tested positive for not only one but two banned substances.
The South African Institute for Drug-Free Sports tested positive for the banned substance Clenbuterol (Beta-2 agonist), Pepper claimed clenbuterol came from a sports supplement which he knowingly took. He also tested positive for exceeding the allowable concentration limit for the steroid, Testosterone and for that, Pepper received a severe penalty for such behaviour.
The cyclist will not participate in any sport for a long three years and he is not the only one. Boxing sensation Jared Lovett who was found guilty of doping charges and tested positive for a banned steroid for the second time in October 2010, which he claimed was as a result of taking a supplement will also faces a 16 year ban while still carrying out his 2 year suspension for his first offence.
The SA Institute for Drug-Free Sports has recently warned athletes and all the other sportsmen to avoid the using any supplements as they may contain banned substances which they may not know of as product manufacturers do not normally list all the other ingredients on the package making it risky to take such products.