‘Sailor’ wins appeal against drug sentence

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The Safa Appeals Board yesterday upheld an appeal by the Tycoons on behalf of ‘Sailor’, who was found guilty on July 12 by the League’s DC of the offence.

He was tested positive on April 13 and was found to have a concentration higher than the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) limit of 15mg/ml.

Ruling in Sailor’s favour, the Appeals Board lifted the ban altogether, but upheld the R55 000 fine, R20 000 of which is suspended for 12 months.

Also, during the next 12 months Tshabalala is to do community work amounting to a minimum 40 hours.

“I am free to play again and thanks to the support given to me by the club, especially the CEO Larry Brookstone and the entire management.

“The person that amazed me most with his support is the coach Miguel Gamondi. Being a new coach at our club, it would have been easy for him to ignore me and carry on with the rest of his players, but he stood by me encouraging me all the way”, said Tshabalala.

“I feel very lucky and honoured to be a member of the Platinum Stars family and all I want is to play football again, fight hard for my place and payback the team with a ‘trophy’ performance every time I take the field when I get a chance,” he said.

The appeal by Tshabalala, who was initially banned for two years, was based on the ‘harshness’ of the sentence in view of the fact that Mamelodi Sundowns defender Mbulelo Mabizela, who was also found guilty of using a banned substance in the past, received a sentence that saw him banned by Safa for six months.

However, Safa’s reduction of Tshabalala’s sentence is certainly going to raise questions in certain quarters, not only because of the lack of consistency when related to OJ’s case, but it would appear to be lacking as a deterrent to other potential drug offenders.

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