South African rugby has been rocked by reports that Springbok hooker Chiliboy Ralepelle has failed a drugs test.

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According to Netwerk 24, the Sharks front rower failed a random drugs test last January, undertaken by the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (SAIDS) at Kings Park.

Ralepelle is yet to play for the Sharks this season.

The 32-year-old has featured under Rassie Erasmus, starting last June’s 22-20 defeat to Wales in Washington DC. He also featured in the 2-1 series victory over England, playing in the third Test which the Springboks lost 25-10.

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Ralepelle is rated as the 14th best hooker in the Super 14 in the RugbyPass Index with an RPI of 70.

It’s not the first time that he’s failed a drugs test, he was banned for two years in 2014 for an anabolic steroid.

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The allegations are an unwelcome distraction for the Sharks ahead of their Super Rugby clash with the Bulls on Saturday at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria.

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