Event: Women’s Long Distances Date of birth: 1985/04/09 Personal bests: 800m (2:03.36),...
THOZAMA APRIL SIDELINED BY DOPING BAN
(photo credit: runningmatters.co.za)
Elite long-distance runner Thozama April will be able to compete again in January 2017, the SA Institute for Drug-Free Sport (Saids) has confirmed, after the 29-year-old athlete was found guilty on doping charges and banned from racing for two years.
April tested positive for a steroid (nandrolone), stimulant (phentermine) and glucocorticoid (prednisone) after the 10km race at the Cape Town Marathon in September.
Saids chief executive Khalid Galant said she had pleaded not guilty and faced a hearing, before being handed the suspension, which would stand until 28 December 2016.
“An athlete can get a reduction in the length of a ban if they can prove the source of the positive test, but she was unable to do this,” Galant said.
“She contested various issues including the lab and the process, but the tribunal did not find extenuating circumstances.”
April finished second at the SA Half-Marathon Championships in Pretoria in November, two months after testing positive, but Galant confirmed she would keep her silver medal as she was informed of the positive test only in December due to delays at the laboratory in Bloemfontein.
A regular competitor on the domestic circuit, April produced her best season in 2010 when she set personal bests over five distances ranging from 3 000m to 21km, including a half-marathon career record of 1:13:58 in Port Elizabeth.
She finished 50th at the 2010 World Half-Marathon Championships in Nanning, China.