South Africa face losing a gold medal from the 2021 World Athletics Relays after sprinter Thando Dlodlo was banned for 30 months for doping.
The 22-year-old has been given the two-and-a-half-year ban by the SA Institute for Drug-Free Sport (SAIDS), which confirmed the sanction on its website.
Dlodlo tested positive for testosterone, the naturally-occurring hormone which can also be used as an anabolic steroid.
While the SAIDS list of doping cases does not show the date when the ban came into force, South African site News24 reports that the sample in question was collected at the South African National Championships in April last year.
The World Athletics Relays took place the next month in Silesia in Poland, so with Dlodlo’s results since that test to be disqualified, South Africa will lose the men’s 4×100 metres gold medal.
Dlodlo ran the first leg as South Africa crossed the line in 38.71sec.
Akani Simbine, Gift Leotlela and Clarence Munyai were the other members of the South African team.
Olympic champions Italy will be bumped up to gold-medal position, with Japan moving to second and Denmark completing the new-look podium.
Dlodlo has a personal best of 10.08 in the 100m and 20.41 in the 200m.
South Africa did not select Dlodlo for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, and the athlete has not run at an event recognised by World Athletics since June 29 last year.