You can never let one aspect of your life define you
Former Baby Bok and University of Pretoria captain Zane Botha admitted that he used steroids to get "bigger and stronger".
In a brutally honest and frank interview with this website, Botha confirmed that he used Stanozolol last year.
He has been banned for two years from taking part in any form of rugby and has returned to his home town, Bloemfontein, where he is currently working.
He will also resume his studies.
Here is the transcript of our exclusive question and answer session with Botha!
Jan de Koning (JdK): Zane, please give us the background to you being tested positive?
Zane Botha (ZB): In the off-season, at the end of last year, I used Stanozolol. At the Bulls they suspected that I was testing too well, during my fitness tests. The [University of Pretoria] Varsity Cup team and the [Bulls] Vodacom Cup teams trained together and did fitness tests together. They suspected steroid use and I volunteered for a test. According to the information at my disposal, I should have been clear [from traces of the steroids] by the end of December. I agreed to do the test and the South African Institute for Drug Free Sport [SAIDS] tested me on January 15 and they found Stanozolol, with its metabolic byproducts, in my system.
JdK: Did you do this on your own accord?
ZB: It is something I did entirely on my own. It had absolutely nothing to do with Tuks. I used it as an individual and it was my own decision to do it. I never appeared in a Tuks jersey from the moment I started using the stuff, till I tested positive.
Jdk: What was the reason, why did you do it?
ZB: The first reason for me was to get bigger and stronger. I play hooker and wanted to add some weight.
Jdk: Did you have a contract with the Bulls?
ZB: No, I only had a contract with Tuks [University of Pretoria]. My contract with the Bulls ended on 1 November 2011 and since I was just at Tuks.
Jdk: Did you go through a hearing?
ZB: No, I declined the hearing at SAIDS and the hearing at Tuks. I am officially suspended till 25 January 2015.
Jdk: What are your plans ahead? Is there rugby in your future?
ZB: I am currently working in Bloemfontein. Luckily I used my head and worked wisely with my finances. Since Under-19 I saved a lot of money. I do have money to do things with, while I will also study for my LLB [The Bachelor of Laws] through UNISA. Who knows what happens in two years. At this stage I am not thinking of playing rugby again. I can't predict where I will be in two years' time and what will happen in my life. I am not even allowed to coach ... I am barely allowed to play fantasy league. You can never let one aspect of your life define you. I am not going to allow rugby, or the loss of rugby, define my life. It is what it is, it happened and I am moving forward. It doesn't help to think about the ifs and buts, it happened and I must deal with it.
* Footnote: Stanozolol, commonly sold under the name Winstrol (oral) and Winstrol Depot (intramuscular), is a synthetic anabolic steroid derived from dihydrotestosterone. It was developed by Winthrop Laboratories (Sterling Drug) in 1962, and has been approved by the FDA for human use. Unlike most injectable anabolic steroids, Stanozolol is not esterified and is sold as an aqueous suspension, or in oral tablet form. The drug has a high oral bioavailability, due to a C17 a-alkylation which allows the hormone to survive first-pass liver metabolism when ingested. It is because of this that Stanozolol is also sold in tablet form. Stanozolol has been used in both animal and human patients for a number of conditions. In humans, it has been demonstrated to be successful in treating anaemia and hereditary angioedema. Veterinarians may prescribe the drug to improve muscle growth, red blood cell production, increase bone density and stimulate the appetite of debilitated or weakened animals. Stanozolol is one of the anabolic steroids commonly used as a performance enhancing drug and is banned from use in sports competition under the auspices of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and many other sporting bodies. Additionally, Stanozolol has been used in US horse racing.[Source: Wikipedia]
By Jan de Koning