Former Springboks captain Ralepelle gets eight-year dope ban


Johannesburg (AFP)

Former Springboks captain Mahlatse 'Chiliboy' Ralepelle was banned from rugby for eight years Wednesday after testing positive for the banned anabolic substance Zeranol last year.

The Coastal Sharks hooker has 21 days to appeal the decision by the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport following an out-of-competition test.

"The Zeranol test is another false allegation against me, which I deny," Ralepelle told the South African media last year.

This is the third time Ralepelle has been found guilty on doping charges, although one was subsequently overturned as the banned substance was in a Springboks-approved supplement.

Ralepelle, 33, last played for the Sharks in 2018 and conceded in a recent interview that his rugby career was effectively over.

He made a meteoric rise in 2006, winning his first Springbok cap off the bench against New Zealand in Pretoria aged 19 after playing less than 10 minutes of Super Rugby.

Later that year he skippered the Springboks in a midweek tour match against a World XV in Leicester to become the first black skipper of the team and the youngest at 20.

In 2018, Siya Kolisi became the first black Test captain of the Springboks and led them to the Rugby World Cup title in Japan last year.

Before joining the Durban-based Sharks in 2016, Ralepelle played for the Northern Bulls in Pretoria and Toulouse.