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Ex-Springbok hooker handed eight-year doping ban after third positive test

33-year-old Chiliboy Ralepelle won 25 caps for South Africa.

Updated Jul 1st 2020, 12:00 PM

FORMER SPRINGBOKS HOOKER Mahlatse ‘Chiliboy’ Ralepelle has been handed an eight-year doping ban, the South African Institute for Drug Free Sport has confirmed.

The 33-year-old tested positive for the banned anabolic agent Zeranol in an out-of-competition test last year.

Remarkably, this was the third time Ralepelle failed a drug test in a 10-year period, although the hooker’s first case concluded with a ‘no fault’ decision and he only received a reprimand.

mahlatse-chiliboy-ralepelle Ralepelle played for the Springboks as recently as 2018. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

He did, however, serve a two-year ban from 2014 to 2016 on the second occasion, when he had tested positive for anabolic steroid drostanolone in an out-of-competition test during his time with French club Toulouse.

Ralepelle returned from that two-year ban to win further caps for the Springboks and played for the national team as recently as 2018. His career appears to be over now, however, after this eight-year ban for his latest doping offence.

Ralepelle has the right to appeal the decision reached by an independent doping tribunal.

The ban is due to run until 27 January 2027.

“The Independent Doping Tribunal Panel handed down its decision in two parts this week on the doping charge against former Springbok and Sharks rugby player, Mahlatse “Chiliboy” Ralepelle.  The player tested positive for the banned anabolic agent, Zeranol, during an out-of-competition test on the 17th January 2019,” reads a statement from the South African Institute for Drug Free Sport. 

“The athlete challenged the doping charge and was afforded the opportunity to seek legal counsel to present his case and version of events to the tribunal panel.  The hearings were adjourned multiple times and were held over a period of six months.  The panel reached a decision first on the merits of the case where they found the player guilty of a doping offense. 

“Ralepelle had previously tested positive on two separate occasions while playing overseas. The Zeranol positive case was his third positive dope test during his playing career within a 10-year period, however the player’s first positive case was ruled a No Fault decision and he then received a reprimand. The panel had to refer to sports jurisprudence to determine the appropriate sanction which they ruled to be the player’s second doping offense.

“The Independent Doping Tribunal Panel ruled that Mr Ralepelle must serve an eight-year ban for doping.  The ban will expire on the 27th January 2027.  The player has 21 days within which to file an appeal against the sanction.”

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Murray Kinsella

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