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Emerging sprinter Dlodlo suspended for doping, SA loses relay gold

One of South Africa’s most promising elite sprinters, Thando Dlodlo, has been sidelined for two and a half years after he was found guilty of a doping offence. global title.

Although it had not yet been officially confirmed by international officials, the SA team would lose their gold medal from the 2021 World Athletics Relays after Dlodlo joined Gift Leotlela, Clarence Munyai and Akani Simbine in securing the relay crown in the short run. sprint.

Not the most prestigious 4x100m relay title in the sport – the World Championship and Olympic crowns are more coveted – the gold medal nevertheless crowned a spectacular rise in South African sprinting in recent years.

SA 4x100m relay team
Thando Dlodlo (center) with Akani Simbine and Clarence Munyai after the SA 4x100m team won gold at the World Relays in Poland last May. Photo: Getty Images

However, Dlodlo, a former national record holder in the junior 100 meters, tested positive for testosterone shortly before the World Relays event, meaning he and his teammates would likely be dropped from the results.

Although the 22-year-old speedster was also part of the SA team that broke the African record in the 4x100m relay when they clocked 37.65 seconds in the opening round of the 2019 World Championships in Doha, that result was achieved long before Dlodlo’s suspension. and it should stand firm.

Dlodlo should be allowed to compete again at the end of next year, and although his return will coincide with the end of the 2023 season, he will be allowed to compete in the 2024 Olympics.

However, he will miss the next two editions of the World Championships, in Eugene this year and Budapest next season, as well as the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

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