CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - Olympic bronze medalist Henri Schoeman will co-operate fully with an International Triathlon Union (ITU) investigation into whether he breached doping regulations at the Rio de Janeiro Games, his manager said on Friday.
South African Schoeman, 26, finished behind British brothers Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee at the 2016 Games, and later stated he had been ill in the lead-up to the race.
“Henri is fully co-operating with an investigation that is being conducted and until we know more we are not in a position to comment,” Schoeman’s manager Nic Lamond told Reuters.
The ITU said on Thursday they were investigating “an adverse analytical finding that would have occurred during the 2016 Rio Olympic Games”.
Russian hackers Fancy Bears released a string of emails they said were between International Olympic Committee (IOC) officials. The emails said Schoeman tested positive for Prednisolone.
Reuters has not been able to verify the specific allegation which was also not addressed by the ITU statement or Lamond.
The use of Prednisolone is allowed outside of competition, but prohibited by the IOC without prior consent during races.
The South African had declared his use of a variant, Prednisone, on a doping form leaked by Fancy Bears, which said he had used the immune suppressant up to July 17, 2016.
The leaked email correspondence, which has not been verified by Reuters, questions whether Schoeman had a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) that would have allowed him to compete with the substance in his system.
The emails do not come to a conclusion as to whether a TUE had been found or not, or whether one was retroactively submitted as is allowed in certain cases.
Prednisolone is a steroid medication used to treat allergies, inflammatory conditions, autoimmune disorders and cancers.
Fancy Bears have previously leaked data from the World Anti-Doping Agency’s ADAMS system about other athletes.
Reporting By Nick Said; Editing by Toby Davis