Comrades’ drug tests not valid - lawyers

The 2012 Comrades Marathon winner’s lawyers say personnel who tested him for drug use were not official.

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

JOHANNESBURG - The legitimacy of testing procedures at the Comrades Marathon have come into question after winner Ludwick Mamabolo tested positive for a banned substance.

Proceedings for his disciplinary hearings, which is being held by the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport, resumed in Sandton on Friday.

Mamabolo won this year's marathon in June, but tested positive for a banned stimulant which provides athletes with energy and a heightened sense of awareness.

His legal team is arguing that personnel who were appointed by the institute were not accredited and sufficiently trained to take samples.

If their claims are found to be true, this may have huge implications for all runners who have tested positive for banned substances.

Mamabolo's legal team is calling for the charges to be thrown out, saying the entire drug testing process at the Comrades is flawed.

The 35-year-old accountant was the first South African since 2005 to win the annual 89km 'down' run between Pietermaritzburg and Durban in five hours, 31 minutes and three seconds.

He crossed the finish line in seventh place last year and second in 2010.