- Former Orlando Pirates star Thandani Ntshumayelo has been given the green light to resume his stalled football career
- He was banned for four years after he tested positive for cocaine near the close of the 2015/16 PSL season
- Ntshumayelo’s case was taken up by a Johannesburg-based lawyer who successfully appealed to have the ban reduced
Former Orlando Pirates star Thandani Ntshumayelo has been given the green light by the South African Institute for Drug-free Sport (SAIDS) to resume his stalled football career. Ntshumayelo was handed a four-year ban after he tested positive for cocaine use in a routine drug test near the close of the 2015/16 PSL season.
Orlando Pirates predictably severed all ties with Ntshumayelo in the fallout from the incident which left his career in tatters. Ntshumayelo case was taken up by a Johannesburg-based lawyer, Mpho Sethaba, who has since successfully appealed to have the ban reduced.
Sethaba took up the case after Ntshumayelo took to the media to openly speak about his struggles and to plead with the relevant authorities to allow him to make an early return to football.
Briefly.co.za gathered that SAIDA has confirmed that the ban was reduced to two-years after Ntshumayelo appealed the matter. The organisation did not oppose the application.
Kickoff.co.za reported that SAIDA CEO Khalid Galant confirmed that Ntshumayelo was now free to resume his playing career after serving two years of the original ban.
Galant said Ntshumayelo’s honesty, openness and cooperation in the original matter had played a huge role in SAIDA not opposing his appeal to have the ban reduced. Galant added that the standard international punishment for such offences was usually between 12 and 24 months.
Ntshumayelo will now embark on the mission to find a new club. He will enter the market as a free agent and will therefore not be subject to any transfer fees and would be free to join any club immediately even though the transfer window closed on 31 August.
Meanwhile, SowetanLive.co.za reported that Ntshumayelo has apologised to his former boss at Orlando Pirates and PSL chairman Irvin Khoza. He also apologised to the club and all its supporters.
Ntshumayelo said he was grateful for the second chance which he had now been given and said he planned to learn from his past mistakes and make the best of his situation
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