(Reuters) - The International Triathlon Union (ITU) has cleared Olympic bronze medallist Henri Schoeman of a doping violation after reports emerged last week that the South African failed a doping test at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games.
Schoeman, 26, finished behind British brothers Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee at the Olympics, and later said he had been ill in the lead-up to the race.
However, a string of emails released by Russian hackers Fancy Bears last week, claiming to be between International Olympic Committee (IOC) officials, said Schoeman tested positive for banned steroid Prednisolone.
Following an investigation by the ITU and IOC into the reports, all parties involved declared that the case was not considered for an anti-doping violation.
“The result management went in accordance with the WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) rules and the process concluded that no AAF (Adverse Analytical Finding) was recorded. As a result, the case was not considered to be, nor did it result in, an Anti-Doping Rule violation,” the ITU said in a statement on Wednesday.
“ITU wants to acknowledge and thank Mr. Henri Schoeman, who has been fully cooperative, providing any information to both the IOC and to ITU during this investigation process, since the information was publicly disclosed.”
Following the ITU’s decision, Schoeman said he was happy to put the controversy behind him as he prepares for the Commonwealth Games, which will be staged on Australia’s Gold Coast between April 4-15.
“After thorough investigation by the IOC, WADA and ITU, I have received a letter confirming what I have known all along,” Schoeman said in a statement.
”There has never been a positive result, an Adverse Analytical Finding (AAF) or a necessity for a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE).
“I have never failed a drug test in my sporting career nor have I ever had to apply for a TUE. I work extremely hard at what I do, it is not always easy but triathlon is my passion and I enjoy it.”
Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge