There is a clear split in opinion among fans in the wake of Springbok Aphiwe Dyantyi testing positive for anabolic steroids.
After acknowledging last Saturday that he had failed a drugs test, the 2018 World Rugby breakthrough player of the year demanded his B sample was tested.
However, instead of exonerating him, the second sample confirmed the presence of banned anabolic steroids and metabolites substances. Despite the results, that has not stopped a huge number of fans on social media leaping to the 25-year-old’s defence.
The winger missed the entire Rugby Championship with a hamstring injury, and some have suggested that some medication he took may have caused him to fail the test. However, he failed his July 2 drugs test with a sample taken before he sustained his injury.
Nonetheless, many feel that he still may not have knowingly taken steroids and he has rather trusted the wrong people with his health. The 13-cap Springbok has passionately refuted taking steroids – and many clearly believe him, or at least believe that he is ignorant of ever taking them.
South Africa's terrible week has just got worse with confirmation of Springbok Aphiwe Dyantyi B sample resulthttps://t.co/KL8Me2iyt0
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) August 30, 2019
There have also been suggestions that this is a sabotage plot to ruin a promising player’s World Cup and his career. While this conspiracy theory has been held by a lot of people since the revelation was first announced regarding the failed drugs test, it would be very hard to prove.
Ultimately, given what Dyanyti achieved last year in the game, many fans simply do not believe that he would jeopardise his career by taking such a huge risk. This is what has been said:
Personally I don't believe that Aphiwe used banned substance deliberately . To me this is a sabotage qha qwaba
— Lwando Pasta-LJ Jevu (@pastalj) August 30, 2019
I don't think he knew dat those are banned substances sometimes we trust the wrong people with our health
— Thabs (@ThabangTsoku) August 30, 2019
There’s quit a lot of judgement on this app. Some people speak like the guy owes them something from his career decisions when this only affects him & his family. He hasn’t admitted to intentionally taking banned substances or if he wasn’t aware products he used contained them?
— TheAlternativePerspective (@masteredsauce) August 30, 2019
Still don't believe it. Doesn't add up, he's the breakthrough player of the year. Why would he set himself up like that? Very dodgy, this.
— XHOSA MAN WITH SOME POWER (@AndileNgqewu) August 30, 2019
I honestly don't understand how this happened. Even if he did do it deliberately, which I still doubt – I then want to know, who the hell is advising this young man? https://t.co/5hEcy27zCK
— Coach Murray (@Murrayingram) August 30, 2019
I will not accept that he deliberately used it. Something Fishy https://t.co/F6uoHzB0oO
— Jacques-Dean (@Ya_aqobh) August 30, 2019
I don’t believe Aphiwe Dyantyi deliberately did it. He was injured, there’s a huge chance a Dr suggested medication for him to speed up healing before World Cup. Then again it’s also his responsibility to check what’s in there. I feel for him. He might get 4 years
— ukhanki (@TboozeSA) August 30, 2019
Do y'all believe Aphiwe Dyantyi would sabotage his career just like that… huh? I'm telling you no one would jeopardize their careers by blatantly… Something is fishy here.
— Mbongeni (@MGegana7) August 30, 2019
Terribly sad turn of events for Aphiwe Dyantyi. Surely he wouldn't have knowingly sabotaged his career at this stage. Must have been a genuine error on his part or bad advice. He'll bounce back ?? pic.twitter.com/BA81WVxhJ3
— His Excellency (@eemz_siphiwo) August 30, 2019
On the other hand, there are those on Twitter that are not as sympathetic with the player. The primary reason is that it seems strange a player could take three banned substances without knowing.
With regards to the alleged attempts to sabotage his World Cup, it has been highlighted that Rassie Erasmus had already made it clear that Dyantyi was unlikely to make the World Cup, meaning there was not necessarily anything to the suggested sabotage. This is what has been said:
3 different steroids?! Nah. Man's shouldn't even plead ignorance. He definitely knew what he was doing, and it was intentional. Such a promising career gone to waste from stupidity and bad decision-making. Aphiwe Dyantyi knew exactly what he was doing. There's no set up.
— El Dorado (@Zondi_Elihle) August 30, 2019
There was no conspiracy or sabotage here. Dyantyi got caught panicking. Use nxgakini ngoku
— the wolf (@thewolfladyy) August 30, 2019
Seems pretty incontrovertible now. Dyantyi has fallen so far in such a short space of time, sad to see him go off the rails like this. How long are the bans now, is it like 3-5 years or something? https://t.co/HVcuveBaKj
— Thomas Moroney (@tmoroney4697) August 30, 2019
The man is injured he wasn’t gonna make cut for the Workd Cup squad. What's there to gain for 'sabotaging' Aphiwe Dyantyi?
— THE TRAINER/FarmGirlOfNote (@Sithe_daGTi) August 30, 2019
Aphiwe Dyantyi really had no choice. I understand where he's coming from. He wanted to speed up the healing process so that he could make the world cup. I'm just feeling sorry for him that it backfired like this. I understand why he did it. Some of us would probably do the same.
— NtokozoMv (@NtokozoMv1) August 30, 2019
While there is a split in opinion, the majority of fans seem to feel that Dyantyi would not have knowingly taken steroids.
If the Lions winger still pleads his innocence, there will be a hearing in four weeks where he will need to provide evidence. But if he is found guilty, he could face a minimum of four years out of the game, which would send shockwaves through the rugby world.
WATCH: South Africa’s media conference prior to their departure on Friday to the World Cup in Japan
Sign up to our mailing list here and we’ll keep you up to the minute with weekly updates from the world of rugby.