SA cyclist Michael Dean Pepper banned for 3 years

The SA Institute for Drug-Free Sport yesterday imposed a three year ban on one of the country’s top cyclists, Michael Dean Pepper, who tested positive for two banned substances.

Pepper was tested at the Amashovashova cycle race in Durban in Oct 2010, where he raced for the House of Paint team.

Khalid Galant, CEO of the Institute of Drug-Free Sport, says that Pepper tested positive for the banned substance Clenbuterol (Beta-2 agonist), the same substance Contador tested positive for in Tour de France. Pepper claimed clenbuterol came from a sports supplement which he knowingly took.

He also tested positive for exceeding the allowable concentration limit for the steroid, Testosterone. (He exceeded the testosterone limit through an external application of testosterone)

Galant says that a verification analysis for the external application of testosterone was done by another WADA accredited Laboratory in Cologne Germany and the  German lab confirmed the results of the doping control lab in Bloemfontein.

“Because two banned substances were found in the athlete’s sample, and the fact that he admitted guilt, the tribunal panel felt they could increase the ban from two years to three years,” says Galant.

Galant says that he cannot stress enough, the risks associated with athletes using supplements because of many of them containing banned substances.

Mike Pepper, second from right