National Sport

Use of drugs and steroids in sport

Ashley Magwindiri

Drug abuse in sports involves the use of performance-enhancing substances in an effort to gain a competitive advantage. It may also involve the use of alcohol or marijuana, according to the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport. Prohibited substances differ from sport to sport, and also with gender. The list of prohibited substances is annually updated by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

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Athletes shaken by ASA scandal


Last week, Athletics South Africa (ASA) announced the official team list for the upcoming IAAF World Championships.

However, the announcement was met with discontent as various athletes who had met IAAF qualifying standards were left out of the official team selection. According to Danie Cornelius, the head of TuksAtheltics, twelve UP athletes who had met IAAF standards were omitted form the final list. This includes in-form athletes such as Henricho Bruintjies, Wayne Snyman, Lebogang Shange, LJ van Zyl and Cornel Fredericks.

ASA president Aleck Skhosana explained that the tougher ASA standards were based on getting better results and argued that SA athletes, when compared with athletes around the world, would rank 18th on the IAAF scale, therefore stricter selection criteria were put in place.

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ASA timing glitch

The recent ASA Series Meeting in Bloemfontein on 8 March 2017 was shrouded in controversy after numerous athletes registered personal best times and record-setting benchmarks. The legitimacy of the results was questioned after it was declared that the official timing equipment had malfunctioned in the men’s 100 m race.

In a statement Athletics South Africa’s (ASA) President, Aleck Skosana, said, “The transponder in the starting device did not react at the start. It’s a new system and we will have to find out from the [private] company what caused it.” Skosana sought to clarify the speculation surrounding the other races as he stated, “In the other races, we can’t discredit the athletes until we know whether there was an issue with the times.’’ The ASA President further stressed the point that “there is no reason at this stage to question the rest of the results.’’ According to TuksSport News, social media was buzzing with speculative banter after the athletics meeting, with many questioning the fact that so many athletes coincidentally ran personal best times all on the same day, especially when the timing equipment had malfunctioned on that very day.

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SA bids farewell to Commonwealth games

On 13 March, the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) announced that Durban will in all likelihood no longer host the 2022 Commonwealth Games. The President of the Federation, Louise Martin, after conducting a review of South Africa’s current preparation for the games, said that they were now “exploring alternative options, including a potential replacement host”.

This decision comes after months of speculation about South Africa’s ability to host the Games after Government missed various deadlines and financial obligations. In an official statement released by the CGF, they claim that South Africa has not been able to fulfil its commitments made in their bid in areas such as governance, venues, funding, and risk management.

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Heinrich Klaasen called up by the Proteas

Multiply Titans and former Assupol TuksCricket wicket-keeper batsman Heinrich Klaasen has been called up to the Proteas test squad for the three-match test series against New Zealand, which gets underway in a few days. The call-up comes after an impressive domestic season that saw him finish seventh on the run-scoring charts in the Sunfoil series with 635 runs at an average of 48.84, including a season-best high score of 195 against the Dolphins in Pietermaritzburg.

Klaasen has built a successful domestic career with 3 140 runs and an overall average of 49.06. He has become a mainstay in the Multiply Titans set up and a key link in their batting line-up. He has received praise from the likes of the Powerade National Academy coach, Shukri Conrad, who said that the young wicket-keeper batsman could develop into “South Africa’s very own M.S Dhoni”. Former Head of the Assupol TuksCricket programme, Pierre de Bruyn, compared Klaasen to Adam Gilchrist with the bat and praised his keeping skills saying that “he has great hands and reach”.

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