Athletics SA hopeful Olympic Silver medalist Luvo Manyonga can clear his name

Manyonga was issued with the notice of charge by Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) and could face a two-year ban if found guilty.

FILE: Gold medallist South Africa’s Luvo Manyonga celebrates after the final of the men’s long jump athletics event at the 2017 IAAF World Championships at the London Stadium in London on 5 August 2017. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Athletics South Africa president Aleck Skhosana has expressed his disappointment after South Africa Olympic Silver medallist, Luvo Manyonga, was provisionally suspended for anti-doping whereabouts failures.

Manyonga was issued with the notice of charge by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) and could face a two-year ban if found guilty.

“We are disappointed in his suspension and we believe he will be able to interact with the Integrity Unit of World Athletics and be able to clear his name, as he is required, because he needs to provide reasons to why and what happened and why he did not present himself for whenever he was required to do so,” Skhosana told Eyewitness News.

Responding to the ban, Manyonga said on his social media, “There is much more information that can be shared with regards to this provisional suspension”.

As for Skhosana, he believes as an experienced athlete, Manyonga knows what is required of him.

“He knows these things; he’s done it before. The compliance issues, he knows them, and I am sure he does have a reason why he did not present himself or share his whereabouts. We hope for the best for him that he will be able to clear this before the Olympics and get to focus on the Games and other competitions.”

A whereabouts failure charge is handed to an athlete who fails to submit their location ahead of time for random out-of-competition drug tests.

Athletes who also fail to appear at a pre-arranged time for a test three times in a 12-month period also receive the charge.

A potential two-year ban would see Manyonga miss out on the rearranged Olympics Games which are set to take place later this year.

“We don’t know,” Skhosana said on Manyonga’s availability for the Tokyo event.

“The IAU only copies us letters that they are trying to get hold of him, and they didn’t get hold of him. As to what will be the outcome, in terms of their decision, whether he will be sanctioned further, or he will be cleared, we don’t know. But we are concerned that he missed this very important appearance to the Integrity Unit, as he signed for. But we hope for the best for him.”