Reports emanating from South African media publication supersport.com have confirmed that two South African rugby players have tested positive for performance enhancing drugs.
With the identity of both players having been kept from the media while the matter is being dealt with, it has been revealed that one of the guilty culprits is Monde Hadebe of the Durban Sharks while the other is rumoured to play for either the Southern Kings or Bulls in Super Rugby. Five players at levels below Super Rugby have also been collared for doping offences, including Currie Cup and U20 players.
After what was a considerably poor year for both teams in Super Rugby, this revelation will come as a further blow to both the reputation and integrity of the franchises.
The news hit the media after South Africa Rugby confirmed to South African Institute for Drug Free Sport that two players had tested positive for doping following routine checks held in a local environment. Both players are now to undergo the necessary protocols in a procedure such as this.
SAIDS Chief Executive Khalid Galant confirmed to the media that the players had been informed of the failed tests through their respective unions and while they are eligible for a sample B testing, this is not a mandatory protocol.
“In some cases players accept the findings and do not contest them, so as to have their suspension begin as soon as possible,” Galant told supersport.com
Monde Hadebe has subsequently been banned from rugby for four years for testing positive for two illegal forms of steroids with the other alleged abuser likely to face a similar outcome. The anonymous player must now consider whether he will contest the findings or not.
This latest scandal in South African rugby has added further fuel to what is now becoming somewhat of a melting pot of controversy, after a season in which the game has been dogged by inexplicable playing quotas based on race and an exodus of playing personal in a bid to further their financial prospects due to a deteriorating South African Rand.