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Springbok duo shocked by drug woe

South Africa coach Peter de Villiers says Bjorn Basson and Chiliboy Ralepelle were "shocked and disappointed" after testing positive for a banned substance.

Basson, a 23-year-old winger and Ralepelle, a 24-year-old hooker, were randomly tested after the 23-21 win over Ireland on November 6, with the results delivered on Sunday night showing traces of methylhexaneamine. The two players have been provisionally suspended from all rugby with immediate effect but are entitled to request that their 'B' samples are tested.

De Villiers told "We have done quite a bit already, we are busy sending stuff for testing. Obviously we have to look at what might have caused this and we don't want to put the players at risk. If there is something that we are taking as a squad that might have caused this then we must find that out now."

He added: "When I informed the two players that they had been tested positive they were both extremely shocked and disappointed. The rest of the team were also gutted when they heard. I was informed of this at 2am this morning, and now we must follow the correct processes as laid down by the International Rugby Board."

A statement from South Africa Rugby Union came on Monday afternoon and read: "Six Nations Rugby Ltd - who administer the November internationals - informed the South African Rugby Union of the positive Tests on Sunday evening.

"As a result the pair are provisionally suspended from all rugby and will return to South Africa on Monday. Basson injured an ankle in Saturday's win over Wales and was due to return anyway.

"The players were randomly drawn for testing by anti-doping officials following the Test at the Aviva Stadium. The players have the right to request that their 'B' sample be tested.

"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 1 January 2011."

Team doctor Craig Roberts, who confirmed to Supersport that the two players were on medication for flu symptoms, shared De Villiers' desire to get to the root of the problem.

He said: "The substance could come from many different sources, like the caffeine substances. What we are doing now is going through the process of looking at all the possibilities and exhausting them one by one. Obviously we need to get to the bottom of this as quickly as possible."


From Belfast Telegraph