One of the few remaining meets on the schedule for the months of April and May has been called off.
Although not appearing yet on the Swiming South Africa website, Swimming South Africa head coach Graham Hill has confirmed to SwimSwam today that the South African National Swimming Championships originally slated for April 4th – April 9th in Durban have officially been postponed.
This appeared like an inevitability, as Olympic qualifiers spanning the United States to Europe and beyond have been cancelled or postponed left and right. The only remaining international meet on the calendar for April is the Japan Swim, which saw its dates reduced and its semi-finals removed from the schedule.
One item to note is that currently-banned South African Olympic swimmer Roland Schoeman is prevented from competing until May 17th after a positive doping test. That would have excluded him from the South African Nationals, as they were scheduled for the aforementioned April dates. If the meet is postponed to later than May 17th, he would again be eligible.
As reported on February 6th, the 39-year-old had tested positive for banned substance GW501516 in May of 2019, a drug obtained on the black market and considered to be a cancer risk. The World Anti-Doping Agency categorizes 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.
We’ll inform our readers as soon as we’re made aware of the new dates for these South African National Swimming Championships, as well as all other meets whose dates have been reset.