Comrades to pay out despite ongoing doping saga
COMRADES Marathon Association will roll out this year’s prize money despite the ongoing doping saga surrounding race winner Ludwick Mamabolo, general manager Gary Boshoff said yesterday.
Mamabolo and seventh place finisher Lephetesang Adoro, from Lesotho, tested positive after the June 3 race, putting a halt to the issuing of remuneration. Adoro recorded a higher than usual concentration of testosterone.
The race’s top ten men and women finishers pocket between R14,000 and R300,000 for their efforts.
Second place finisher Bongmusa Mthembu is set to collect his R145,000 cheque which will be “topped up” to R300,000 if Mamabolo is found guilty of using the banned stimulant methylhexaneamine at a hearing which begins this month.
“We have resolved to pay out the prize money according to the placings on race day,” Boshoff said.
“We are in the process of paying it out. We made the decision two weeks ago when SA Institute for Drug-free Sport released the final drug testing results and the fact that Ludwick and Lephetesang tested positive and that they had been disqualified pending the findings of the tribunal. Some might have received their prize money while for the others it is a process that is still being done.
“The two runners that have tested positive still have to go through a tribunal but we have agreed with Athletics SA (ASA) to pay out those runners like Bongmusa who finished second. Mthembu will receive his prize money for coming second and then we will await the outcome of the tribunal and depending on its outcome we will top up the prize money for the runners that will move up into [higher] positions.”
Mamabolo’s hearing was scheduled to start last month but his legal team pushed for a postponement pleading for more time to build their defence. The 35-year-old has denied any wrongdoing despite his A and B-samples confirming the presence of methylhexaneamine.
“The delay in the paying out of the prize money has obviously frustrated athletes. It is unfortunate that athletes have tested positive but it comes with the territory and is a very complex matter,” Boshoff said.