Elton Jantjies: South African World Cup winner given four-year doping ban

Elton Jantjies

Former South Africa fly-half Elton Jantjies, part of the squad who won the 2019 World Cup, has been banned for four years for failing a drugs test.

Jantjies, 33, was handed what could prove a career-ending suspension by the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport after testing positive for clenbuterol, a fat-burning substance also found in asthma medication.

The player announced in August he failed a test after being recalled to the Springboks squad for last year’s Rugby Championship, vowing to do everything in his power to prove his innocence.

But SAIDS said in its ruling: “The athlete did not exercise his right to have their case heard before an independent doping hearing panel.”

Jantjies, who started two of South Africa’s group matches at the 2019 World Cup, has not made a statement himself but his agent, Anthony Johnson, told South African press he had been making inquiries about fighting the outcome.

He earned 46 caps between 2012 and 2022, after which he put his Test career at risk by getting arrested amid accusations he caused damage on a flight from Dubai to Johannesburg and being sent home from Argentina following reports of an affair with Springboks dietician Zeenat Simjee.

A spate of injuries resulted in a recall to his country’s training squad in June last year, the same month as his positive drugs test.

He said in a statement in August: “It is with no small amount of shock and sadness that I have to inform you that I received notification earlier this month, from the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport, that a urine sample that I had provided to them in June 2023, returned a positive test for a banned substance, clenbuterol.

“I have instructed legal representation to assist me in determining the source of the prohibited substance and I have instructed them to ask for my B sample to be tested and to launch an inquiry into the possible causes for the positive test.

“I will do everything in my power to prove my innocence. This is another setback in what has been a very volatile time for me. I shall overcome this with the support of my family and friends.

“I know that there will be those out there who doubt my innocence, but I hope to prove you wrong, in due course. For those who support me, thank you.”