South Africa duo give evidence to drugs committee

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The Independent Online

The judicial committee investigating the anti-doping charges against South Africa duo Chiliboy Ralepelle and Bjorn Basson has reserved its judgement after hearing evidence from both players in Cape Town today.

Hooker Ralepelle and wing Basson tested positive for the banned stimulant methylhexaneamine after the Springboks' 23-21 win over Ireland in November and were sent home from the tour of Britain and Ireland.



Their 'B' samples later also tested positive.



The pair were immediately suspended by the International Rugby Board and banned from all rugby activities.



The committee, appointed by the South Africa Rugby Union, heard three-and-a-half hours of evidence from the two players, witnesses and SARU management and will now take time to deliberate before returning their findings.



A SARU statement read: "A judicial committee appointed by the South African Rugby Union (SARU) to investigate the anti-doping charges against Springboks Bjorn Basson and Chiliboy Ralepelle, reserved judgement in the case in Cape Town on Tuesday.



"A press conference to announce the verdict will be scheduled by SARU once the committee has completed its deliberations."



Following the test results South Africa's team management immediately stopped the use of all supplements and launched an investigation into the source of the positive tests, fearing the substance may have been contained within products supplied to the whole team.



Methylhexaneamine was originally intended to be used as a nasal decongestant but it is now a common ingredient in dietary supplements. It normally stays in the body for 24 hours.



The World Anti-Doping Agency added methylhexaneamine to their banned list in 2009, but downgraded its classification at the start of this year to reflect the number of inadvertent positive tests.



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