Below is the full statement by Team Bestmed-ASG after Maroesjka Matthee tested positive for a banned substance.
Response to anti-doping rule violation by Maroesjka Matthee
We sadly confirm the news that one of our riders, Maroesjka Matthee, was suspended for an anti-doping rule violation by the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (Saids) on Monday.
The test was conducted during competition on August 8 and the presence of pseudoephedrine was detected.
Saids imposed a sanction of one year, backdated to October 2.
Matthee, who declared the use of sinus congestion tablets before the test, confirmed to the team that she was in the process of appealing the decision.
In their finding, she said Saids concluded there was not enough evidence to prove intention (which would have carried a suspension of four years), but enough to prove that the violation was unintentional (hence the shorter suspension).
In the hearing, Matthee advised the panel, and gave evidence, that she was unable to get hold of Sinustat (which she has used before) at the airport en route to the competition and was given Actifed instead by the pharmacist. She took this for three days as prescribed.
It is fair to say the news came as a shock as we have a very strict internal anti-doping policy, to which the riders are contractually bound.
As professional athletes and a team that subscribe to the World Anti-Doping Code, we believe it is the riders’ responsibility to ensure they are familiar with substances on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s prohibited list to protect the integrity of our sport.
Matthee will be suspended from all racing activities by the team pending the final outcome of the appeal. We will let the official process run its course before making further statements.
We respect the role and independence of Saids and will stand by their decisions.
Manager, Team Bestmed-ASG