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Comrades winner accused of doping

35-year-old Ludwick Mamabolo was the first South African to win the prestigious race in seven years.

Ludwick Mamabolo has tested positive for an illegal substance.

JOHANNESBURG - 2012 Comrades winner Ludwick Mamabolo has tested positive for a banned stimulant, the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport confirmed on Tuesday.

The 35-year-old athlete was the first South African to win the prestigious race in seven years.

The institute's Khalid Galant said, "The stimulant is used to enhance your awareness and alertness.

"In an endurance race like the Comrades, it will work to your advantage because it can mask your fatigue levels."

Galant said if the findings are confirmed, Mamabolo could face a two-year ban and be stripped of his title.

"We are disappointed any time any of our athletes test positive, especially at an event like the Comrades."

Galent said Mamabolo has the right to request that a second sample be tested, before a hearing is convened.

"That sample is tested at a lab in Bloemfontein and he can witness the breaking of the seal of that sample to ensure it hasn't been tampered with."

Mamabolo is yet to respond.