Schoolboy rugby players caught doping could be suspended for three months or more or face expulsion.
The Cape Argus reports that a new testing programme launches on Monday, spearheaded by the SA Institute of Drug-Free Sport (Saids), which aims to eradicate a growing trend of steroid and drug use among teenagers in schools.
‘The testing will occur at any time and will not only be limited to athletes,’ said Saids chief executive Khalid Grant.
Substances that will be prohibited according to the programme include diuretics (which mask the presence of performance-enhancing drugs by flushing them out of the system), stimulants and steroids. Around 100 of South Africa’s top schools have signed up for the programme that will allow a school’s principle or Saids delegate to test any pupil suspected of doping. Drug abuse hot lines are not currently on the agenda.
According to Rapport, 18 out of 62 children independently tested in the past six months had positive results for drugs so dangerous they could lead to death.