CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) — Anti-doping officials said Friday they would consider appealing a four-month suspension for South Africa midfielder Josta Dladla on the basis it is too lenient after he tested positive for the banned stimulant methylhexaneamine.
The decision by a tribunal means Dladla is already clear to play again because he was suspended when he was charged on Jan. 9 and the tribunal viewed that as "time served."
Anti-doping authority The South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport announced the ban and said it would review the ruling of the tribunal, which took into account Dladla pleading guilty, before deciding on any appeal.
"We have to stress that Josta Dladla has not been acquitted of any charges," SAIDS chief executive Khalid Galant said in a statement. "After we receive the written decision from the tribunal we will be in a better position to understand the rationale behind their thinking on why the sanction for a doping offense for methylhexaneamine is four months."
Although a two-year ban is common for a first-time offense for methylhexaneamine, Galant told The Associated Press that there could be other mitigating factors in Dladla's case. He said the tribunal ruling would be reviewed in detail next week.
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