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ASA adjourns Sepeng doping hearing

SA' s Hezekiel Sepeng at the Olympics - Source: ASA Yomi Omogbeja (03/12/2005)

Hearing into the alleged doping violation by South Africa's star athlete Hezekiel Sepeng has been adjourned.

Athletics South Africa (ASA) announced that the disciplinary hearing into the case was put back until Tuesday, 24 January 2006 due to outstanding documentation from the laboratory in Barcelona.

The Atlanta 1996 Olympics 800m silver medallist was reported to have tested positive for the anabolic steroid nandrolone, better known by its commercial name Deca-Durabolin last May, but has consistently protested his innocence.

The 30-year-old has been fighting to clear his name and prove it was a 'mistake', and had asked that his B sample be tested knowing fully well that if found guilty he will be suspended from athletics for a period of two years.

Sepeng's long-time coach, Jean Verster told ASA website that he did not knowingly ingest an illegal substance, but is keeping his cards close to his chest regarding the possible reasons for the positive test.

He also queried why the authorities waited so long before contacting Sepeng to inform him the sample taken on February 21 had tested positive.

Verster said: "We can't say anything yet, but there are a few possible reasons for the positive test.

"We've written a letter to Athletics South Africa and to the IAAF in which Hezekiel says that he did not knowingly use any (banned) substances."

Over the years tests for nandrolone has been found to be inconclusive because research found the bosdy could over produce it in some circumstances. The steriod is also found in contaminated food supplements.

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Last updated: 30-Dec-2005 7:44 PM

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