Athletics South Africa (ASA) has promised to reach out to “troubled” long jumper Luvo Manyonga who on Friday was banned for four years by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU).
Manyonga was banned after he failed to make himself available for drug testing three times in a 12-month period under the sport’s “whereabouts” criteria.
In a statement, ASA said its board has taken note of the unfortunate turn of events with regards to the four-year ban imposed on the 2016 Rio Olympics silver medallist and African champion.
Early this month, ASA president James Moloi said that the national federation was already in the process of sending out a seek-and-find intervention team to see what can be done to save “our troubled but talented athlete”.
“We are totally gutted that the athlete has now been slapped with this suspension,” said Moloi.
“However, the board of ASA has decided to follow through on the earlier commitment to send a small team to find out where he is and what can still be done to assist the athlete with whatever he requires to refocus on his career.
Moloi also said as a disciplined member of World Athletics, they support and remain in solidarity with the outstanding work of the AIU which is meant to ensure that all athletes conform to Anti-Doping rules to guarantee fair-play.
“We also want to re-confirm that ASA does not interfere in the work of the Athletics Integrity Unity and strongly condemn athletes who undermine its work, because it is the responsibility of each athlete to conform to Anti-Doping regulations,” he said.