Aphiwe Dyantyi in 2018. Photo: AFP
There is now less than a year to go until Bok wing Aphiwe Dyantyi would officially be able to return to play after serving out a suspension.
Aphiwe Dyantyi in 2018. Photo: AFP
At the beginning of this year, Bok wing Aphiwe Dyantyi – who is currently serving a four-year suspension related to banned substances – said he is focused on getting back to the game.
In 2019, and on the eve of the Rugby World Cup, Dyantyi was banned from all forms of the game after his mandatory B sample came back testing positive for three banned substances following a national training camp.
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According to the ruling handed down to Dyantyi, he was effectively ‘banned from participating in sport from the date of 13th August 2019 [when he was provisionally suspended] to 12th August 2023’.
Notably, there is now less than 11 months to go until Dyantyi could be available to play again, with his possible return set to come just before his 29th birthday.
Several months ago, Sunday newspaper Rapport reported Dyantyi had moved to Durban where he is working and training in hopes of making a successful transition back to the game once his suspension is lifted.
Apparently he can start training with a team six months before his ban ends, and some talk suggested his move to Durban could open the door for an opportunity at the Sharks, where S’bu Nkosi has headed away from Kings Park to join the Bulls.
A group of supportive people are said to have been assisting Dyantyi after the hardship he endured following the shock suspension, and it’s now hoped that he could make a successful comeback to professional rugby.
In another article on IOL Sport back in May, written by respected Durban-based journalist Mike Greenaway, it was also stated that the signs increasingly seem to indicate that the Sharks may consider extending a lifeline to Dyantyi in the near future.
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At the beginning of last year, the Bok wing was advised by World Rugby that he had the right to lodge an appeal directly with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Switzerland instead of going through the national appeal process.
This followed in the wake of another announcement when an independent panel handed down the suspension to the Springbok wing after finding that he had ‘failed to satisfy the burden of proof to establish that his positive dope test was not intentional’.
The South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (Saids) later released a statement to confirm and accept the decision rendered by the panel.
However, it was ultimately confirmed that Dyantyi would not go the route of approaching Court of Arbitration for Sport, instead accepting that he would wait out the length of the ban.
The 28-year-old is entering his final year away from rugby, and he took to social media not that long ago to suggest he will aim to get back on the field.
“This year marks three years out of the game,” Dyantyi wrote in February. “A very challenging three years coupled with tears, rebuilding, love and laughter.
“A trial and error period in my life, but two business projects down the line, I wouldn’t change anything about my life journey. The support has been both heartwarming and humbling (Thank You).
“I find myself in a privileged position of building beyond rugby and focusing on getting back on the field, and get back I will …
“I’m only getting started …”
A more recent social media post also showed him hard at work in training.
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Few will forget what an impact Dyantyi made during the start of his Springboks career, which was prematurely brought to a halt.