Mountain Biker In Anti-Doping Violation

Cycling South Africa reports that mountain bike cyclist Rourke Croeser has been found guilty of two anti-doping rule violations:

* The first anti-doping rule violation was for the presence of Recombinant EPO in an out-of-competition test conducted on 30 August 2015 in Andorra (Europe) before the Cross Country World Championships.

* The second anti-doping rule violation was for the presence of Phentermine in an in-competition test conducted on 03 October 2015 at the Isuzu 3 Towers Stage Race in Mpumalanga.

Croeser requested that his B samples be tested in both cases and both confirmed the original findings.  Croeser did not dispute the findings and charges against him.  As a consequence, he was deemed to have waived the right to a hearing and the South African Institute for Drug Free Sport (SAIDS) last week issued a written decision. 

It found that he was guilty of both anti-doping rule violations.  Croeser’s results extending back to 30 August 2015 will be disqualified, with all of the resulting consequences, including forfeiture of any medals, points and prizes.  SAIDS handed down a written decision in which it sanctioned him to a four-year ban for each of the anti-doping rule violations but they will run concurrently. 

The World Anti-Doping Code obliges SAIDS to make the sanctions run concurrently because the two doping infractions occurred fairly quickly after each other and before the athlete was notified of the first offence.  The four-year period of ineligibility will run from November 23, 2015 to November 22, 2019.

Croeser has been given 21 days after notification to appeal the decision.  Cycling South Africa respects the independence of the SAIDS process and will respect the outcome.  Cycling SA further reiterates its zero-tolerance approach to doping in sport and will continue working with SAIDS in the promotion of a drug-free sport via its awareness and extensive testing programmes.

Photo credit: Andrew McFadden/Gameplan Media