Detectives 'not certain' boxes found in bedroom of Oscar Pistorius contain testosterone

South African police claimed to have found two boxes of testosterone and a number of needles in his bedroom

Claims that detectives investigating the murder of Reeva Steenkamp found performance-enhancing drugs in Oscar Pistorius's bedroom were dramatically withdrawn today.

South African police claimed in testimony at the athlete's bail hearing to have found two boxes of testosterone and a number of needles in his bedroom after searching the Paralympian's house in the wake of the fatal shooting of his girlfriend last week.

However, a spokesman for the state prosecutor was forced to make a sensational correction to the detective's tesitimony, saying there had been an error.

Medupe Simasiku, a spokesman for South Africa's National Prosecution Agency, said it is too early to identify the substance as it is still undergoing laboratory tests, and that they were "not certain" what the substance found actually is.

Should allegations of the use of performance-enhancing drugs be proved, Pistorius would face being stripped of the two gold medals and one silver he won at the London 2012 Paralympics.

During today's proceedings, Pistorious's defence team rejected the allegation, suggesting it was a legal herbal remedy, testo compositum co-enzyme, as the two sides traded claim and counter claim at this morning's bail hearing.

The detective in charge of the search, Hilton Botha, later admitted to Pistorius's lawyers that he had not properly read the label on the boxes.

Allegations that Pistorius, who has been charged with premeditated murder, has used steroids first emerged last week in the wake of his arrest. Both the World Anti-Doping Agency and the South African Institute for Drug Free Sport (SAIDFS) said they would support the police in any investigation but would not begin any enquiries of their own until the case had been completed.

“The [police] have not confirmed from a forensic perspective if indeed the substance is what the detective claims it to be,” said Khalid Galant, chief executive of South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport. “If any of the substances found are indeed established to be banned in sport, SA Institute for Drug-Free Sport will evaluate the evidence within the context of the anti-doping laws of sport. This evaluation will only occur after the criminal case has concluded.”

If the substance discovered is proved to be testosterone the court case is likely to be followed by an investigation by SAIDFS with the ultimate sporting sanction of him being stripped of his six Paralympic medals and facing a four-year ban from competition, which would rule him out of the Rio Olympics and Paralympics.

Last year Pistorius, a double amputee, competed in the London Olympics, becoming the first Paralympian runner to do so, and was then the international face of the London Paralympics, where he won two gold medals.

The International Paralympic Committee today said Pistorius was tested twice at the Paralympics, once before the Games (August 25)and once during the event in London (September 8). Both tests were negative. In the Olympics the first five in each event were tested as well as two more at random. Among the 6,250 tests carried out during the Games, a number were conducted at random in the athletes village. There were nine positive tests during the Games.

Testosterone is an anabolic steroid administered either orally or through injection. It helps increase muscle size, strength and power as it copies the effect of testosterone that occurs naturally in the body. Depending on the amount taken, it remains in an athlete's system from anything from one day to three months. Floyd Landis is reported to have failed a test for testosterone in the 2006 Tour de France.

While the drug regime surrounding the London Games was the most comprehensive in Olympic history, those involved in the anti-doping agencies stress it is not in competition testing that is the key to catching dopers. Doping regimes have become increasingly sophisticated - most doping occurs out of competition - and in the case of testosterone what is called micro-dosing has become common, taking small amounts that make it easier to avoid a positive test.

Last summer Victor Conte, the man behind the Balco scandal, was in London claiming that there is little point in testing athletes during the summer when competition is in full swing, rather the focus has to be out of competition because that is when the majority of doping takes place.

Just last week Wada called for greater aid in helping combat doping around the world. There are fears of "safe havens" around the world where athletes are able to dope in between competitions with little prospect of being tested. Kenya has become the recent focus of anti-doping investigations in the wake of claims of wide-spread doping. There is just one Wada-accredited laboratory in the whole of Africa.

Testosterone occurs naturally in the body but if an athlete has four times the accepted normal amount, it is deemed to be a doping offence.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - Junior / Mid Weight

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To support their continued grow...

Recruitment Genius: Marketing Data Specialist

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are the go-to company for ...

Recruitment Genius: Search Marketing Specialist - PPC / SEO

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join the UK's leadin...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This caravan dealership are currently recruiti...

Day In a Page

Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test