Jacques van der Westhuyzen

By Jacques van der Westhuyzen

Head of Sport

Elton Jantjies timeline: A career of highs and lows

The 33-year-old's career is effectively over after being handed a four-year ban.

Springbok flyhalf Elton Jantjies has been handed a four-year ban from playing rugby after testing positive for having a banned substance in his body.

Jantjies was tested last year by the South African Institute for Drug-free Sport and found to have Clenbuterol in his urine. While the 33-year-old rugby player said he was shocked by the findings he didn’t challenge the discovery and was subsequently banned for four years on Thursday.

It has been a big fall from grace for the former Lions and Springbok No 10 who helped the Boks win the 2019 World Cup in Japan.

Here is a timeline of Jantjies’ career.

2010: The young 20-year-old announces himself on the local rugby scene after a man-of-the-match performance against Western Province in a big Currie Cup match, after matriculating at Hoërskool Florida two years earlier. He scores 31 points as the Lions beat WP 46-28. In the same year he plays for the Junior Boks.

Jantjies is also named SA Rugby’s Young Player of the Year and SA U-20 Player of the Year, and is picked to tour with the Boks to Europe at the end of the season, though he doesn’t play a Test.

Elton Jantjies
Elton Jantjies in action for the Boks in the non-Test against the Barbarians at Twickenham in 2010. Picture: Steve Haag / Gallo Images

2011: Having established himself as the Lions’ first choice No 10 he leads the team to Currie Cup glory, succeeding with all his kicks at goal as the Lions win 42-16 against the Sharks. He also makes his Super Rugby debut earlier in the year.

2012: Jantjies makes his Springbok debut against Australia at Loftus Versfeld in September. He will go on to play 46 Tests for the Boks over a 10-year period, many of them from off the bench. He will also eventually feature at the 2019 Rugby World Cup, with the Boks winning the title for a third time.

2016-18: Jantjies plays a key role in the Lions reaching three successive Super Rugby finals, against the Hurricanes and Crusaders (twice), though he is not able to help them get across the line.

Elton Jantjies
Elton Jantjies of the Lions is tackled by Ryan Crotty of Crusaders during the Super Rugby final at Ellis Park in 2017. Picture: Gallo Images

2020: Jantjies ends his time with the Lions after a successful stint as the chief No 10 and joins French side Pau, before moving on to the Red Hurricanes in Japan. He later signs for another French team, Agen, in 2023.

2022: In May, Jantjies is said to have damaged property in an airplane incident involving a fellow woman passenger on a flight from Dubai to Joburg.

In September, Jantjies is reported to have engaged in inappropriate behaviour with Springbok team dietician Zeenat Simjee at a hotel in Nelspruit and is later sent home from the Bok tour of Argentina to sort out his personal matters. He and Simjee deny the allegations and SA Rugby find no team protocols are breached.

2023: In August Jantjies announces he has failed a random drug test, conducted by SAIDS in June. He is found to have Clenbuterol in his body, a banned substance for athletes. He is suspended from playing rugby and isn’t considered for the Springbok team for the World Cup in France.

2024: The 33-year-old Jantjies is given a four-year ban for the failed test last year. SAIDS say in their decision: “A written decision was issued in terms of Article 8.3 of the SAIDS Anti-Doping Rules 2021 because the athlete (Jantjies) did not exercise his/her right to have their case heard before an
Independent Doping Hearing Panel (IDHP).”

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