Eleven athletes caught doping in 2012
Eleven South African Athletes were sanctioned for doping offences during 2012. This is a very high number for a single country and indicates that there is a serious problem with both a lack of awareness of the dangers of using such substances and also an element of dishonesty in some cases. What makes the numbers worse is that there are still six outstanding cases awaiting finalisation.
As an indication of the divergent nature of the cases dealt with by the South African Institute for Drug Free Sport, the sanctions imposed ranged from five and a half months for a minor who was tested at a schools meeting, to an unprecedented five years imposed on an administrator found guilty of supplying unlawful substances to an athlete.
“This is a troubling statistic. There is clearly something badly wrong with the knowledge of the athletes and their support teams. In many cases the substances were taken out of pure ignorance. Even in those cases where it was not only ignorance, the level of naivety is clear from a reading of the judgments in those cases. One gets the sense that some of the athletes felt that the testers will never catch them. They obviously believed the myth that the testers are always one step behind the takers. If that ever was the case, it isn’t any longer”, said Athletics South Africa president, James Evans. “It is obvious that there will need to be a concerted effort to educate the athletes in future.”
Information on the testing procedures and which substances are prohibited can be found on the SAIDS website www.drugfreesport.org.za as well as Athletics South Africa website www.athletics.org.za under Info Centre, Anti Doping.