Aphiwe Dyantyi’s agent, Gert van der Merwe, believes there are mitigating factors that should have played a role in the suspension meted out to the Springbok wing.
Dyantyi, the 2018 World Rugby Breakthrough Player of the Year, was informed over the weekend he will have to serve a four-year ban for using illegal substances, following a random test while in a national training camp in 2019.
Van der Merwe said on Tuesday he and Dyantyi will sit down this week to formulate a plan of action.
“We have 21 days to lodge an appeal and I believe we have got good grounds for the appeal to be heard,” said Van der Merwe.
He added the only obstacle in their way were the big financial costs involved.
“It’s going to cost between R200 000 and R300 000 to make this appeal work. If we don’t go ahead it will only be because Aphiwe doesn’t have the money. Remember he hasn’t been paid for almost two years,” Van der Merwe said.
“I really feel for him; this was something that was delivered to his place of residence by a friend and it’s not something that would have enhanced his performance in a month or so,” he said.
“Also, the first two samples that were taken were positive but the third one was negative, so we believe there are grounds to prove his innocence,” he said.
Van der Merwe said Dyantyi was absolutely devastated to learn of the findings of the committee hearing the case as he was ready to resume his life again.
“Aphiwe was ready to start training again. He will keep fighting to clear his name,” said Van der Merwe.
Right now, Dyantyi will only be allowed to play again on 12 August 2023 – his suspension having come into effect last year.
“We believe there are strong mitigating circumstances for him to have got a reduced sentence,” said Van der Merwe, “as he maintains he unknowingly took in the three banned substances.”