Written by Staff Writer, CNN
Four players — one an amateur — have been provisionally suspended in South Africa for testing positive for a banned substance in recent weeks.
The players — two amateurs and two professionals — were suspended, per a statement from the South African PGA, while an independent body decides whether their links to the sport should be severed.
According to the report, test results showed “methanol sulfate, a substance that is permitted only in doping cases involving oxalates,” at the South African Open, which takes place November 25 to December 2 in Pretoria.
However, the SA PGA isn’t putting all blame on the players.
“It is beyond doubt that individuals at South African Open last month tried to get around the strictures on doping by putting a mixture of strychnine and meldonium in their drinks,” The South African PGA said in a statement.
“We have therefore asked our lawyers to pursue this matter as it is the highest level of cheating when it comes to doping. The roles of the accused players in the matter cannot be summed up in just one word.”
The players are from England, Wales and Nigeria.
Methanol sulfate is a medical medicine, which is approved by the World Anti-Doping Agency, according to the World Anti-Doping Agency.
The official website notes: “Methanol sulfate is an ingredient in medicines for some forms of certain types of musculoskeletal injuries, pain and inflammation, which is clinically indicated under medical supervision by qualified physician.
“Methanol sulfate is not a performance enhancing drug as used as it has not been proved to have any effect on performance.”
However, as the athletes were amateurs, the South African PGA has decided to suspend them pending the outcome of the judicial process.