Josta Dladla’s mistake when taking a substance you can buy over the counter was an honest one according to the Kaizer Chiefs midfielder and his representative.
It was revealed by the SA Institute for Drug-Free Sport (SAIDS) yesterday that the 34-year-old had tested positive for banned substance, Methylhexaneamine, and that he could end up in hot water because of it.
However, while his agent, Steve Kapeluschnik, says that he does expect some kind of sanction being put upon the veteran, he says that it was just an honest mistake, and that he hopes that the player’s impeccable record will help the SAIDS pass on a lenient punishment.
Speaking to the Siya crew Kapeluschnik said, “I’m dealing with the situation at the moment, and I’ll be flying to Cape Town next week to meet with the SAIDS to talk about it.
“It was an honest mistake on Josta’s part, he’s been a consummate professional throughout his career since 1998 and he has a great record. He's only been sent off once. It wasn’t as if he was taking recreational drugs or anything, it was something that can be bought over the counter and that, unbeknownst to him, included a banned substance.
“We respect and understand that Josta has made a mistake by taking a banned substance, and for that reason we won’t be exercising our right to undergo a re-test. We know that as a result of it there could be a sanction put upon him because of it.
“We now want to deal with this situation in a professional and open manner with the SAIDS, and hopefully they will be lenient with him.”
The substance purchased by Dladla ahead of the Soweto Derby against Orlando Pirates was a new one for the midfielder as an alternative to the one that he has always bought, unfortunately he did not know that it included Methylhexaneamine.
The crew managed to track down the veteran midfielder, who admitted that he was ‘shocked and rather upset’ with himself for not checking out the supplement that he was using.
Dladla said, "Yes, I was informed of the outcome of the tests done in October 2013. I have been taking supplements for over ten years now as part of my training and recovery process and have never tested positive. After the match I was randomly tested as SAIDS usually does in all PSL games. I was informed later that I had tested positive for a substance that I can’t even pronounce and obviously I was shocked and upset with myself.
"Currently there is a process that needs to take place and I would love to respect that and let it take it's due course, after which I will be prepared to engage further on the matter but for now I would like to ask the media to let me deal with this situation in private until it is resolved. I would like to thank the Club Management, my team mates, the supporters and my family for all the support during this time."
It remains to be seen what sort of punishment will be handed to the midfield man, although the 2012 Comrades Marathon winner, Ludwick Mamabolo, was cleared of any wrongdoing after he tested positive for the same enhancer last year.