Thursday, April 7, 2011

South African gold medal-winning amputee banned from Paralympics for 1 year because of doping

From The AP:

JOHANNESBURG — Fanie Lombaard, a single-leg amputee winner of multiple gold medals in Paralympics and world championships, has been banned for one year for failing a doping test.

Lombaard tested positive for Probenecid, which was classified as a diuretic and masking agent by the World Anti-Doping Agency, the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee said in a statement on Wednesday.

SASCOC ratified the sanction handed down by the International Paralympic Committee, which did not enforce the maximum penalty and allowed the 41-year-old Lombaard to keep his medals after he produced evidence that he had been prescribed Probenecid to treat gout.

Quoting the IPC's anti-doping committee, SASCOC said Lombaard "produced corroborating evidence showing that he suffers from a disease (gout) for which a treatment with Probenecid, amongst other drugs, was prescribed.

"The respondent shall receive credit for the timely admission of the anti-doping violation," the committee said, according to SASCOC's statement.

Lombaard, who came out of retirement to win discus gold at the IPC world championships in New Zealand in January, was banned until Jan. 26, 2012.

However, he avoided the maximum sanction, which included forfeiture of his medals, the disqualification of all competition results, a two-year ban and a fine of —1,500 ($2,150).

Lombaard won gold in the discus, shot put and pentathlon at the 2000 Sydney Paralympics. He won gold medals in discus and shot put in 2004 in Athens.

The former professional rugby player represented Blue Bulls before an injury led to the amputation of his left leg at the knee.