Not really surprising, these days all pro athletes use drugs

THE Springboks are having anything and everything in their camp that can be taken by mouth tested for the banned stimulant methylhexaneamime following the shock news that Bjorn Basson and Chiliboy Ralepelle retuned positive samples for the caffeine-like stimulant after being randomly tested in Dublin on November 6.

The players concerned and the Springbok doctor, Craig Roberts, have no idea how it came to be in the players’ bodies and now there is concern that more players or indeed the whole squad might be affected.

Basson and Ralepelle were both treated by the doctor for flu in the build up to the Test match against Ireland last week but Dr Roberts said that the medicines given to the players have never before been problematic in this regard.

The tests were undertaken by Six Nations Rugby Ltd, who are administering all Test matches involving the Southern Hemisphere teams in the UK and Ireland this November.

Free State U21 Johan Goosen tested positive for the same stimulant earlier this year and was banned from rugby for three months by a SA Rugby Union judicial panel.

Nine Australian athletes also tested positive for the substance prior to the Commonwealth Games this year.

“It is a problematic stimulant in that it can found in a wide range of foodstuffs and medicines and dietary supplements. It is scheduled to be re-classified as a specified stimulant from January 1, 2011,” said Dr Roberts.

As far as censure is concerned, the Springbok management said they could not comment because the IRB process had to run its course.