Event: Women’s Long Distances Date of birth: 1985/04/09 Personal bests: 800m (2:03.36),...
MPHUTHI HANDED TWO-YEAR BAN FOR DOPING
Comrades Marathon gold medallist Joseph Mphuthi has been handed a two-year ban for a doping offence, officials have confirmed.
He is the second top-10 finisher at last year’s 89km race in KwaZulu-Natal to be sanctioned, after Sandile Ngunuza’s ban was announced in November.
“They will not be allowed to participate in the Comrades Marathon until completion of their suspensions,” the race organisers said in a statement on Monday.
Mphuthi, however, would be allowed to keep his gold medal and R30 000 prize money for his sixth-place finish, the SA Institute for Drug-Free Sport (SAIDS) confirmed.
The veteran athlete had tested positive for nandrolone, an anabolic steroid, after taking second position at the 50km Loskop ultra-marathon in April 2014.
Despite being handed a temporary sanction, preventing him from racing, Mphuthi turned out at Comrades in May last year.
Though he was later handed a two-year ban, after facing a hearing, the beginning of the suspension was extended from 12 April 2014 to 8 July 2015, clearing him to retain his spot in the Comrades results.
Ngunuza had been disqualified from the race after he tested positive for stimulants oxilofrine and methylhexanamine following his ninth-place finish.
Thuso Masiea was promoted to ninth position in the official results and Russia’s Vasily Larkin climbed to 10th spot, earning a belated gold medal.
With Mphuthi retained in the results, however, Ben Matiso missed out on gold, settling in 11th position.
Four SA athletes have been involved in doping controversies in the last four editions of the Comrades Marathon.
Ludwick Mamabolo tested positive for methylhexanamine after winning the 2012 race, but he was cleared of the charges after multiple irregularities were found in the post-race anti-doping process.
Martinique Potgieter returned an adverse analytical finding for furosemide, a diuretic, and phentermine, a stimulant, after taking ninth position in the women’s race in 2014.
She pleaded guilty and was given a two-year ban.
The top 10 men and women at last year’s race were all tested on the day, according to SAIDS, which had also carried out 25 doping control tests on South African athletes and 18 on foreign competitors in the build-up to the 90th edition of the prestigious event.