A rough year for 28-year-olds Lebakeng Sesele is only getting rougher, as he has learned that he is going to be suspended for four years from domestic and international competition after testing positive for turinabol and trenbolone (two different kinds of anabolic steroids).
A new report released by the International Association of Athletics Federation and their Athletic Integrity have unit states that a urine sample that had been collected by Sesele during in out of competition visit in November 2017 has come back as positive for these two performance-enhancing drugs.
Because of this positive test, he has been provisionally and immediately suspended from competition completely for the next four years.
This test took quite a while to get back to the International Association of Athletics Federation, but only because the samples had been sent to a WADA accredited laboratory in Germany. Some of the laboratories in South Africa had been having difficulty coming up with conclusive results on previous tests for performance-enhancing drugs, and the WADA felt that these laboratories may be compromised and that the facility in Germany was the way to go with future tests.
Unsurprisingly, Sesele had an almost immediate answer as to why he had tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs. Athletes that have been busted for using performance-enhancing drugs almost always respond instantly or near instantly, if only because they hope to get out in front of any narrative that they have little to no control over.
Somewhat surprising, however, is the fact that Sesele is not instantly denying the fact that he used performance-enhancing drugs but is instead accepting blame and admitting to using them while trying to rehabilitate from an injury he sustained in late 2017.
There aren’t a lot of top-tier athletes in the same class as Sesele that are willing to admit that they did something wrong, even if Sesele is saying that he wasn’t trying to gain a competitive advantage over the field but was instead just looking to rehabilitate faster – especially since his rehab stretched far beyond just a few short months in early 2018 and spilled over into almost the entire year.
Sesele went on to admit that he had been “self-medicating” with anabolic steroids because he was just a broke college student and had absolutely no opportunity to pay for the professional medical care he needed to successfully rehab his injury.
He himself injected both of these banned substances into his body, and did so every week for a four-week block of time in an effort to speed up his rehab and recovery.
Sesele also went on to say that because he used the steroids while he was out of competition, and because he use them with no opportunity to compete (due to his injury) he did not feel that he was cheating. He had zero intention to use performance-enhancing substances while he was competitive, and only believe that these substances were fair to you on recovering from an injury.
The athlete was also forthcoming about where he sourced his steroids from, even if his story didn’t necessarily match up at first. Originally he stated that he had purchased the performance-enhancing drugs over the internet, but later admitted that he had purchased these injectable steroids from a local pusher in South Africa.
Hoping that his honesty and contrition would be enough to have his suspension knocked down significantly, Sesele went into the entire situation looking for leniency. The International Association of Athletics Federation did not see things in the same light, and while Sesele requested a two-year suspension they decided to hand down a four-year suspension.
Sesele is appealing the decision and hopes to be able to rejoin his teammates two years sooner than it’s looking like he’ll be able to right now.