South African race-walking star Lebogang Shange fails doping test

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Lebogang Shange reacts after the Men's 20km race walk in The Mall in London during the 2017 IAAF World Athletics Championships.

South African athletics has been rocked by the news that race-walking star Lebogang Shange has allegedly failed a doping test, according to the Athletics Integrity Unit.

The Athletics Integrity Unit, which was founded by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) in April 2017, stated that Shange was issued with a ‘notice of allegation’ and confirmed the 29-year-old had tested positive for a prohibited substance known as trenbolone.

Trenbolone is a steroid used primarily in veterinary medicine, specifically to increase the profitability of livestock by promoting muscle growth and appetite. It is administered by injection into muscle.

Shange has been provisionally suspended from participating in any athletics-related competition or activity.

According to the Athletics Integrity United’s website, the final decision will be made at a hearing conducted under the IAAF Anti-Doping Rules or the Integrity Code of Conduct.

Shange was recently named in Athletics South Africa’s (ASA) preparation squad for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Shange competed at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, finishing 44th in the 20km race in a time of 1:25:07.

A year later, at the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London, Shange set a national record of 1:19:18 in the 20km race when he finished fourth, a mere 14 seconds outside the medals.

Shange’s positive test comes only a matter of months after sprinter Carina Horn was caught for doping shortly before the 2019 IAAF World Championships in Doha.

 

Chidi Nwoke.

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