Shaking off recent doping allegations, Olympic bronze medallist Henri Schoeman hopes to open his season with a bang this weekend as he winds up ahead of the Commonwealth Games.
The 26-year-old athlete, who formed part of a local podium sweep at the Discovery World Cup race in Cape Town last year, will again turn out among the favourites in the Mother City tomorrow.
And while he admitted the allegations had given him a knock last month, he said this week was hoping to prove it had not left any long-term scars after he was cleared by international officials of any anti-doping infringement.
“It was a distraction to my training and it put me back a week or two,” Schoeman said this week.
“It was a very bad time, but I just sat with my team and tried to work with the various organisations to be as transparent as possible because at the end of the day there was nothing to hide.
“I just want to move on now and focus on the Commonwealth Games.”
At last year’s World Cup season opener in Cape Town, Schoeman settled for second place behind compatriot Richard Murray, with Wian Sullwald taking bronze in a historic South African sweep of the medals.
While Sullwald is missing from the line-up this weekend due to injury, Schoeman will again face Murray in the sprint contest, with the duo sharpening up for the Commonwealth spectacle on Australia’s Gold Coast in April.
“I just want to focus on executing the best race possible, making sure I minimise the mistakes and give it 100%,” Schoeman said.
“It’s also a bit of a tester too see where we are going into the Commonwealth Games.
“We need to make sure that we’re in good shape, and if there’s anything that’s lacking we can work on that and improve on it before the Games.”