Springboks duo fail drugs test

Controversy surrounds the Autumn rugby internationals, as South African players sent home.

    The players (not pictured) were randomly tested after their side's two point victory over Ireland on November 6  [EPA]

    Two South African rugby players have been banned from international duty following drugs test failures at the Autumn tests.

    Bjorn Basson and Chiliboy Ralepelle were sent home from the November internationals after showing positive traces for the banned stimulant methylhexaneamine.

    The pair were randomly tested after their side's two point victory over Ireland in Dublin on November 6.  

    Methylhexaneamine is found in energy supplements and is designed to increase adrenaline production, stamina and weight loss. It appears on the prohibited substances list of the World Anti-Doping Agency. The players were reportedly being treated for flu like symptoms. 

    Coach's reaction

    Peter de Villiers, the Springbok's coach, expressed the shock and disappointment being felt around the camp and insists his players are completely innocent and unaware of any illegal substance they may have consumed.

    Ralpelle, a 24 year old hooker, was the first black player to captain his country when he led them against a World XV in 2006. He plays his club rugby with Super 14's side, The Blue Bulls.

    Basson, a speedy winger, picked up his third cap against Ireland and holds the record for most tries scored in the South African domestic league competition, the Currie Cup.

    Ralepelle was due to feature in Saturday's match against Scotland but Basson was not, having been ruled out due to an ankle injury. They have been suspended indefinitely from all rugby but can request their B samples be tested.

    South Africa play England on November 27, before their tour concludes on December 4, with a game against the Barbarians. 

    SOURCE: Agencies


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