19th October 2018

SAIDS: bodybuliding & rugby union report highest proportion of ADRVs

Bodybuilding and rugby union reported the highest proportion of anti-doping rule violations (ADRVs) in comparison to tests, the Annual Report of the South African Institute for Drug Free Sport (SAIDS) reveals. SAIDS reported that 14 of the 23 tests carried out on bodybuilders during the 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018 year resulted in an ADRV (60.9%). Eleven ADRVs were recorded at a single competition.

With 391 tests performed during the year, rugby union was the second most tested sport after athletics (546 tests). However rugby union reported seven ADRVs (1.8%) compared to six in athletics (1.1%). Three of the seven ADRVs recorded in rugby union were as a result of tests performed on schoolboys during the 2017 Craven Week rugby union tournament. As the players are minors, their names have not been made public.

SAIDS first warned about an alarming trend in doping at schoolboy rugby union during 2015 – a warning that was repeated this year. Is said that six players tested positive as a result of the 122 tests taken at the 2018 Craven Week – all relating to anabolic steroids. This was up from the three positives reported in 2017, four in 2016, five in 2015 and three in 2014.

Athlete ADRVs recorded during the year – part 1…

As shown in the table (above right), just six urine tests were taken from cricketers by SAIDS during the 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018 year. SAIDS performed 52 urine tests on footballers during the year, and four on hockey players. These numbers do not take into account tests performed by sporting federations, such as the International Cricket Council (ICC) or FIFA.

In total, 43 ADRVs were recorded from the 1,659 tests carried out on South African athletes during the year (2.77%). SAIDS said that the number of tests during the year was restricted due the additional costs of shipping samples outside of Africa for testing. This was due to the suspension of the Bloemfontein Laboratory during May 2016. The accreditation of the Laboratory was revoked during June 2017, but it was re-accredited in September this year.

Athlete ADRVs recorded during the year – part 2…

Despite this financial burden, expenses recorded by SAIDS fell from ZAR28.15 million (€1.71 million) during the 2017 financial year to ZAR26.37 million (€1.6 million) in the 2018 financial year. This left the agency with a surplus of ZAR2.26 million (€137,000) for 2018, compared to a deficit of ZAR663,000 (€40,300) for 2017.   

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