SASCOC (South African Sport Confederation and Olympic Committee) on Wednesday confirmed that para-athlete Fanie Lombaard has tested positive for the use of a prohibited substance and subsequently been banned for a period of one year.
Lombaard won the gold medal in the F42 category of the discus competition at the IPC Athletics World Championships in Christchurch, New Zealand in January.
Following the completion of his competition, Lombaard, 41, tested positive for the presence of Probenecid. This is a substance classified as S5 (diuretics/masking agent) by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
Standard sanctions for this first-time violation would normally include:
- Forfeiture of any medals, points and prizes obtained on the date of sample collection (27 January, 201);
- Disqualification of all competition results including forfeiture of any medals, points and prizes obtained subsequent to the sample collection date;
- An ineligibility period of two (2) years, and:
- A financial sanction of 1,500 Euros
However, the IPC Anti-Doping Committee did not see fit to impose maximum possible sanctions on Lombaard and instead handed down a one-year period of ineligibility.
This was due to the committee deciding that “the respondent shall receive credit for the timely admission of the anti-doping violation”.
Furthermore, the Hearing Panel noted that Lombaard ” has produced corroborating evidence showing that he suffers from a disease (gout) for which a treatment with Probenecid, amongst other drugs, was prescribed”.
The hearing panel also took note of the NPC representative’s referral to “the longstanding career of the respondent and the consistency of his results over all that period”.
Lombaard is thus ineligible to compete from a period backdated to 27 January until 26 January 2012.
As the country’s Paralympic governing body, SASCOC takes note of, and respects, the IPC findings and reminds all athletes under its jurisdiction of the dangers of taking prohibited substances both in and out of competition periods.