30 Mar 2022
CAS 2021/O/8111 World Athletics (WA) v. Lebogang Shange
In December 2019 the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) on behalf of World Athletics reported an anti-doping rule violation against the South African Athlete Lebogang Shange after his sample tested positive for the prohibited substance Trenbolone.
Following deliberations between the parties the Athlete was ultimately charged in June 2021 and the case was referred to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in for a first instance hearing panel.
World Athletics contended that the Athlete failed to demonstrate that the violation was not intentional, nor the source of the prohibited substance. It did not accept his explanation that the level of Epitrenbolone in his sample was caused by his ingestion of 800g of stewed beef the night before the doping control.
The Athlete denied the intentional use of the substance and requested for a reduced sanction. He asserted that he acted with No Fault of Negligence and claimed that contaminated meat was the source of the positive test.
Supported by expert witnesses, the Athlete argued that only a form of illicit or irregular use of Trenbolone on cattle, together with a misadministration of legal inspection requirements, could possible explain his positive test result. He also alleged that there were differences in the technical equipment and capabilities of detection of WADA-accredited laboratories.
The Panel finds that the presence of a prohibited substance has been established in the Athlete's sample and accordingly that he committed an anti-doping rule violation. The Panel dismisses the Athlete's allegation that accredited laboratories apply different detection capability in order to establish an adverse analytical finding.
Further the Panel assessed and addresses 3 scenarios of illicit or irregular use of Trenbolone on cattle as a potentional explanation for the Epitrenbolone found in the Athlete's system. Nevertheless the Panel concludes that these 3 scenarios cannot explain the Athlete's positive test result:
- Scenario 1:The implant of more than one pellet of Trenbolone into cattle.
- Scenario 2: Slaughter of an animal earlier than the 70 days minimum period that should elapse after the Trenbolone implant.
- Scenario 3: Misplacement of a Trebolone implant into the cattle's muscle instead into the cattle's ear.
As a result the Panel finds that the Athlete could not demonstrate, on the balance of probabilities, how the substance had entered his system, nor demonstrated the he acted unintentionally.
Therefore the Court of Arbitration for Sport decides on 30 March 2022 that:
1.) The Request for Arbitration filed by World Athletics on 18 May 2021 against Mr Lebogang Shange is upheld.
2.) Mr Lebogang Shange is found to have committed anti-doping rule violations pursuant to Rule 2.1 and Rule 2.2 of the World Athletics Anti-Doping Rules in force from 1 November 2019.
3.) Mr Lebogang Shange is sanctioned with a four-year period of ineligibility, commencing on the date of the present Award. The period of ineligibility served during the period of provisional suspension imposed on Mr Lebogang Shange from 19 December 2019 until 7 June 2021 and from 30 June 2021 through the date of the present Award shall be credited against the total period of ineligibility.
4.) All the competitive results obtained by Mr Lebogang Shange from 4 November 2019 are disqualified, with all the resulting consequences, including the forfeiture of any titles, awards, medals, points and prize and appearance money.
5.) The costs of the arbitration, to be determined and served to the Parties by the CAS Court Office by separate letter, shall be borne in their entirety by Mr Lebogang Shange.
6.) Each Party shall bear its own legal fees and expenses incurred in connection with the present arbitration procedure.
7.) Any other and further motions or prayers for relief are dismissed.