Juniors suspended for steroids

Two South African rugby players have been banned for use of anabolic steroids and another for recreational drug use.

Saru announced on Tuesday that Ryan Louwrens (18) of the Valke Rugby Union and Sonwabile Ntezo (21) of the Eastern Province Rugby Football Union have been suspended for two years, while Wandile Putuma (19) from the Border Rugby Union has been banned for three months for testing positive for cannabis.

Louwrens played in the 2009 Craven Week for the Valke, while he and Putuma represented their provinces in the U19 provincial competition during the 2009 season. Ntezo played for his province in the U21 competition.

‘This is a massive concern, especially the use of anabolic steroids amongst younger players,’ said Dr. Shuaib Manjra, a member of the South African Rugby Union’s Disciplinary Tribunal. ‘These are players on the cusp of their professional careers in rugby.

‘We have an obligation to release their names and send a strong message to everyone involved that such behavior is completely unacceptable – in South African rugby and sport in general. That is also why we’ve imposed serious sanctions on these players.’