The banned substance Zeranol has been detected in Sharks hooker Chilliboy Ralepelle’s B-sample which means he will face another doping enquiry.
Zeranol is widely used in the USA and other countries as a growth promoter in beef cattle and sheep. It is a non-steroidal anabolic growth promoter with potent estrogenic activity.
A release issued by The SA Institute for Drug-Free Sport read: “The B-sample result of Sharks rugby player, Mahlatse Chilliboy Ralepelle, confirmed the presence of the banned substance, Zeranol.
“During the sample collection process, the athlete divides his sample into an A-sample container (60ml) and a B-sample container (30ml) and seals both containers. The B-sample container, therefore, contains the same urine as the A-sample container.
“Upon receipt of the athlete’s A and B-samples at the laboratory, only the A-sample’s seal is broken and the sample is then analysed for banned substances.
When the presence of a banned substance is identified in the A-sample, the athlete is notified and has the option to accept the result or have the B-sample analysed to confirm or invalidate the A-sample result. Mr Ralepelle exercised his right to have his B-sample analysed.”
“The athlete now has the option of accepting the result and offering a guilty plea, where after a reasoned decision will be issued explaining the doping sanction.
“The athlete may also submit a plea for consideration of a reduced sanction by providing mitigating circumstances. Should the athlete opt to contest the sample result, a hearing of an independent tribunal panel will be convened to adjudicate over the proceeding and hand down a decision.”
If found guilty, this will be the third time in his career that Ralepelle has earned himself a doping ban.
Ralepelle had been on the comeback trail from a knee injury when he was informed of the positive test. He has played 25 Tests for the Springboks.
The Sharks have something of a hooker crisis at the moment with Akker van der Merwe suspended for three weeks and Craig Burden, who came out of retirement as cover, injured.
23-year-old Kerron van Vuuren will start for the Sharks against the Lions on Friday evening while Under 20 hooker Fez Mbatha comes up to the bench.