Namibian rugby player Andre de Klerk has been banned for eight years by the International Rugby Board after committing a second doping offence.
According to the IRB’s website, De Klerk received an eight-year sanction after committing a second anti-doping rule violation while serving a sanction for his first anti-doping offence.
De Klerk tested positive for the anabolic agent Testosterone in August 2011 following an Out of Competition test conducted three months before his original sanction of two years was due to expire. The 21-year-old said his finding for Testosterone was a result of him using the supplement “Animal Stak".
De Klerk's first doping offence was committed in 2009 after testing positive for the anabolic agent Methandienone while on senior international duty for Namibia.
The offence automatically put him in the IRB’s Out of Competition Testing Pool and subject to random Out of Competition testing anywhere, anytime.
IRB Anti-Doping Manager Tim Ricketts said: “The main message to come from this error is that all players must be diligent in checking all nutritional supplements to ensure that they do not contain any banned substances. Under the strict liability principle a player is responsible for any prohibited substance found in their system."
"This was a wholly avoidable situation and one that has significantly hampered what promised to be a budding international career. This case highlights a strong message to all young players aspiring to be bigger, faster, stronger, that you must obtain good advice around using supplements and any attempt to take short cuts are just not worth it."
De Klerk is a highly talented lock forward who made his debut for Namibia’s senior team as an 18-year-old in 2009. He helped them qualify for the 2011 Rugby World Cup when they beat Tunisia in the African qualifying final in November 2009.
He was however banned for two years shortly after that match and had not played competitively since. The latest banning is a huge setback for his career as well as for Namibian rugby.