Ralepelle, Basson sent home after failing dope test

Springbok players Chiliboy Ralepelle and Bjorn Basson have failed dope tests and will play no further part in the tour of Britain and Ireland, the world champions announced on Monday.

The duo both returned positive test samples for the banned stimulant methylhexaneamine following the Springboks’ 23-21 win over Ireland in Dublin on November 6.

Six Nations Rugby Ltd—who administer the November internationals—informed the South African Rugby Union of the positive tests late on Sunday.

As a result the pair are provisionally suspended from all rugby, including this Saturday’s match against Scotland at Murrayfield and the November 27 encounter against England, and will return to South Africa on Monday.

Basson injured an ankle playing on the wing in Saturday’s 29-25 win over Wales in Cardiff—a match where front-rower Ralepelle came off the bench—and was due to return anyway.

The players were randomly drawn for testing by anti-doping officials following the Test at Lansdowne Road. Both Basson and Ralepelle have the right to request that their “B” sample be tested.

A South African Rugby Union statement said the pair “returned an adverse analytical finding for methylhexaneamine, a ‘non-specified stimulant’ on the prohibited substances list of the World Anti-Doping Agency [WADA]. It is scheduled to be re-classified as a ‘specified stimulant’ from January 1, 2011.”

‘Non-specified’ means there are no concessions in the Wada code for unintended use.

Methylhexaneamine, a stimulant that appears in some nasal decongestants, was also the substance that led to Nigeria’s Osayemi Oludamola being stripped of her 100m gold medal at the Delhi Commonwealth Games last month.—AFP

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