Comrades Marathon winner Ludwick Mamabolo has tested positive for drugs – the second such finding in the event’s history – the SA Institute for Drug Free Sport (SAIDS) said on Tuesday.
Mamabolo, who won the 89km ultra-marathon between Pietermaritzburg and Durban on June 3, tested positive for methylhexaneamine, SAIDS said in a statement.
“As per the protocol for testosterone cases, we have to rule out endogenous production (manufactured in the body ) of testosterone by the athlete’s body and any medical abnormality,” said SAIDS chief executive Khalid Galant.
“The sample was sent for further analysis to the doping control laboratory in Cologne, Germany.
“SAIDS will be able to determine if indeed the athlete tested positive for testosterone after the Cologne laboratory returns the result in approximately four weeks.”
Galant said banned stimulants like methylhexaneamine gave athletes a heightened sense of awareness, energy, and euphoria, and could mask fatigue levels in long-distance races such as the Comrades.
According to SAIDS, Mamabolo could face a two-year ban and be stripped of his title if found guilty by an independent tribunal.
If Mamabolo is stripped of the title, another South African, Bongmusa Mthembu, who finished second, will replace him as this year’s winner.