MASERU — Let?eng High Altitude Summer Marathon winners are expected to receive their prize monies on Wednesday after receiving the all-clear during drugs tests. ‘Mamoroallo Tjoka and Masilo Matjeane will each get M60 000 for winning the 42.2 km marathon last December in Mokhotlong. A senior manager in the sports ministry, ‘Manneria Ramot?o, told the Sunday Express on Friday that all athletes had tested negative.
“We are busy processing their prizes as we speak and on Wednesday each of the four athletes will receive their prize monies,” Ramot?o said. “Their anti-doping results came through on Wednesday from Durban and the four of them tested negative, showing the respect each athlete has for the sport and themselves as individuals,” she said. She said the ministry is happy that local athletes are adhering to laws regulating sports world-wide. “We are very happy and proud that our athletes understand the importance of abstaining from performance-enhancing drugs and the effects they have on them,” she said.
She said her ministry started educating local athletes on the importance of abstaining from banned substances and they are happy the process is bearing fruit. “It is not so long ago that we embarked on an educational programme and we are glad the athletes are not only winning fair and square but are also respecting international laws governing our sports,” she said. “Performance-enhancing drugs don’t only subject athletes from being banned from competing in any international competitions for two years but also negatively affect the bodies of the athletes.”
Local athlete Lephethesang Adoro last year tested positive for a banned substance after finishing seventh at the Comrades Marathon in South Africa.
He is yet to be judged after his A sample was sent to Germany for further testing. Initial tests, conducted in South Africa, confirmed a high concentration of testosterone. Although testosterone is a hormone that is primarily secreted in the testicles of males and females’ ovaries, with other small amounts produced by adrenal glands, it can also be found in boosters and pills. In addition to the testosterone, Adoro’s sample also tested positive for the banned corticosteroid, prednisone. International cyclist Lance Armstrong has been banned for life and stripped of all his international medals, including the Sydney Olympic bronze medal, after he was found guilty of using performance-enhancing substances.