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Clock ticking for Mamabolo

2012 Comrades winner Ludwick Mamabolo has 72 hours to decide if he wants to get a second sample tested.

Ludwick Mamabolo became the first South African to win the Comrades since 2005 on 3 June 2012. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - This year's Comrades Marathon winner Ludwick Mamabolo has under 72 hours to decide if he wants to get his B sample tested.

The South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (SAIDS) confirmed on Tuesday that it had suspended Mamabolo for testing positive for a banned substance specified on the World Anti-Doping Agency prohibited list.

The 35-year-old Limpopo accountant was the first South African to win the esteemed race in seven years.

He has yet to respond to the news, but faces being stripped off his title as well as a two-year ban.

Mamabolo now has the option to have a second sample tested by the institute, to make sure the original test was accurate.

Following that, he will appear before an independent tribunal which will give him an opportunity to defend himself.

Several sportsmen have tested positive for the same stimulant, Methylhexaneamine, but have managed to prove they took it by mistake.

The institute's chairperson, Dr Shuaib Manjra, said athletes needed to prove they did not take the drug to enhance their performance.

The stimulant is found in several training supplements.

The institute said Mamabolo was notified about the findings, but has not yet said what his next step will be.

Mamabolo completed the 89km down run between Pietermaritzburg and Durban in 5:31.03.

He finished second place in 2010.