WADA seeks extension of Roland Schoeman’s 1-year doping ban

On the same day that Australian swimmer Shayna Jack saw her doping ban reduced from 4 to 2 years by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), South African Olympian Roland Schoeman may see his suspension extended.

Appearing via video link on Monday at a CSA hearing, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) challenged FINA’s ruling that the 40-year-old freestyle ace should be banned for just 1 year after his positive test. 


As per the Associated Press (AP), WADA has requested a ban of two to four years.

A verdict is not expected for several weeks.

Schoeman received a 1-year ban that began in May of 2019, after testing positive for the banned substance GW501516.

The World Anti-Doping Agency categorises GW501516 as a ‘hormone and metabolic modulator’, alerting athletes in 2013 that the substance failed medical trials and was a toxic threat to health if used as a performance enhancer.

Schoeman said that he believed that the positive test came as a result of a tainted supplement, although he said that by the time he was notified of his positive test, all of that month’s supply of supplements were gone and unable to be tested.

Even without proof of a tainted supplement, FINA still reduced Schoeman’s punishment from the maximum 4 years for a first-time offender.

By rule, the 4 years are reduced to 2 years if the hearing body believes that it was not intentional, and generally to reduce further than that requires an athlete to prove a source of accidental ingestion.

FINA, however, reduced Schoeman’s suspension from 2 years to 1 year even without identifying a source of contamination. FINA had not responded to requests for the full Doping Panel decision to illuminate why they chose to give Schoeman only a 1-year penalty.

Schoeman was a member of the South African team at the 2000, 2004, 2008, and 2012 Olympic Games.

He won Olympic gold in 2004 as a member of South Africa’s 4x100m freestyle relay, and that year he also took silver in the 100m freestyle and bronze in the 50m freestyle.

He also had 3 long course World Championships, all in individual events, and is a former world record holder in 5 events.