South Africa Institute of Drug-free Sports explains four-year ban imposed on Thandani Ntshumayelo
Posted: 29 August 2016 Time: 16:45
KickOff.com can confirm earlier reports that Thandani Ntshumayelo has received a four-year ban, with the clock ticking on his window to appeal.
This website last month revealed that an Orlando Pirates player had tested positive for cocaine, with his hearing set for 31 August.
Reports last week resurfaced that the player in question, who has been confirmed as Ntshumayelo, was handed a four-year ban and subsequently had his contract with Orlando Pirates terminated with immediate effect.
The South African Institute for Drug-free Sports CEO Khalid Galant has confirmed that the player has indeed been banned from all sporting codes.
"Yes, I can confirm that Thandani Ntshumayelo's case was heard by an independent panel and the decision handed down last week," Galant tells KickOff.com.
"The player was given a four-year ban from sport [note: ban includes all sports and not only football] for testing positive for cocaine."
The 26-year-old presented evidence to try and reduce his sentence but the panel found it insufficient and upheld the full length of the ban. However, the player has a window to appeal to a different panel in order to get a reduction.
"The athlete did not contest the charge and pleaded guilty, but presented evidence in mitigation for a reduced sanction. The panel heard the evidence but still handed down a four-year ban," added Galant
"The athlete has the right to appeal within 21 days after receipt of the written decision. The athlete would have to spell out the grounds for appeal before the appeal application is accepted.
"Any decision handed down by the doping tribunal may be appealed by the athlete, international federation [in this case FIFA] or WADA [World Anti-doping Agency].
"In the event there is no appeal, the decision will stand and the ban will be honoured by all sports authorities [worldwide]."
Galant also explained that the four-year ban is the standard sentence in such cases, following the ammendment of the laws in 2015.
The last South African footballer found with cocaine in their system was former Kaizer Chiefs midfielder Lucky Maselesele, who received a two-year ban from SAFA in November 2008, while turning out for Maritzburg United.