Former South Africa hooker Chiliboy Ralepelle has been given an eight-year ban after testing positive for a banned substance. 

The 33-year-old tested positive for the anabolic agent Zeranol in an out-of-competition sample taken in January 2019. 

Ralepelle, who also failed tests in 2010 and 2014 - the first was ruled a 'no-fault' case and he received a reprimand, challenged the latest charge, but the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (SAIDS) has banned the player until 2027. 

The ex-Sharks, Bulls and Toulouse forward, who won 25 caps for the Springboks, has three weeks to lodge an appeal.  

A statement from SAIDS sent to Stats Perform News read: "The Independent Doping Tribunal Panel handed down its decision in two parts this week on the doping charge against former Springbok and Sharks rugby player, Mahlatse 'Chiliboy' Ralepelle.  

"The player tested positive for the banned anabolic agent Zeranol during an out-of-competition test on January 17, 2019. 

"The athlete challenged the doping charge and was afforded the opportunity to seek legal counsel to present his case and version of events to the tribunal panel. The hearings were adjourned multiple times and were held over a period of six months. The panel reached a decision first on the merits of the case where they found the player guilty of a doping offence. 

"Ralepelle had previously tested positive on two separate occasions while playing overseas. The Zeranol positive case was his third positive dope test during his playing career within a 10-year period, however the player's first positive case was ruled a 'No Fault' decision and he then received a reprimand. 

"The panel had to refer to sports jurisprudence to determine the appropriate sanction which they ruled to be the player's second doping offence. 

"The Independent Doping Tribunal Panel ruled that Mr Ralepelle must serve an eight-year ban for doping. The ban will expire on January 27, 2027. The player has 21 days within which to file an appeal against the sanction."

Melbourne-based franchise the Rebels are exploring alternative venues for their upcoming game against the Reds due to quarantine restrictions in Queensland.

The Rebels open their Super Rugby AU campaign on Saturday when they take on the Brumbies, with 50 players and staff already relocating to Canberra ahead of the clash at GIO Stadium.

However, new provisions imposed by the Queensland government amid a rise in coronavirus cases means the planned round two fixture against the Reds on July 10 is to be moved.

In a statement, the Rebels confirmed they are looking into options in New South Wales but, following consultation with Rugby Australia and Queensland Health, the match will be allowed to go ahead as the group will have been out of Victoria for 14 days beforehand.

The players and staff will continue to be tested for COVID-19 ahead of the new domestic competition organised following the suspension of the Super Rugby season.

"We thank all state governments for their open collaboration and working with us throughout these unique circumstances," the statement read.

"The ongoing base of the Melbourne Rebels squad following this July 10 fixture is currently also being determined, with a bye scheduled for Round 3.

"Not unlike other teams and codes domestically and abroad, the short-term relocation of the Melbourne Rebels away from Australia's sporting capital has been a challenging and evolving situation.

"It is a sacrifice from our club, players and staff which provides for the commencement and continuation of the 2020 Super Rugby AU competition, and illustrates our commitment to the future prosperity of rugby in Australia."

The Crusaders made it back-to-back wins to start the Super Rugby Aotearoa season with an 18-13 victory over the Chiefs on Sunday.

Will Jordan scored tries either side of half-time for the Crusaders at a rainy Orangetheory Stadium in Christchurch.

It marked the Crusaders' second win in as many games this season, while the Chiefs fell to a 0-3 record.

The wet conditions made for a tricky opening and Richie Mo'unga and Damian McKenzie traded penalties in the first 24 minutes.

Jordan went over seven minutes before half-time for the Crusaders, Sevu Reece taking a high kick on the wing before throwing a pass inside.

The Crusaders caught the Chiefs off guard early in the second half, a quick play seeing Jordan cross again to make it 15-3.

Mo'unga's penalty had the Crusaders up 18-3 with 20 minutes to go, but the Chiefs threatened a late comeback.

Sean Wainui crashed over before McKenzie converted and then kicked a penalty, although the Crusaders were largely untroubled in the closing stages.

The Highlanders were unable to snatch another late win in Super Rugby Aotearoa as the Blues held on for a nail-biting 27-24 victory at Eden Park on Saturday.

Bryn Gatland's late drop goal had seen the Highlanders defeat the Chiefs, coached by his dad Warren, in their opening fixture but, following a bye week, they were unable to repeat the feat in Auckland.

Mitchell Hunt missed a 73rd-minute penalty and then a drop goal as he failed to tie things up for Aaron Mauger's side, who could not make the most of late pressure in the Blues' 22.

Tries arrived in the opening 11 minutes from the Blues' Caleb Clarke, whose grandfather passed away hours prior to kick-off, and the Highlanders' Ash Dixon.

Scott Gregory's kick was then charged down by Hoskins Sotutu and Dalton Papalii took advantage to cross.

Rieko Ioane made it 22-10 to the Blues before half-time but the same player was sent to the sin bin after the break for an offside infringement. Shannon Frizell added to an impressive try from Hunt to give the Highlanders the lead.

Papalii put the hosts back in front in the 58th minute and Hunt's late miss from the tee spared James Parsons' blushes after he lost the ball while attempting to dive over the ruck to score.

The Blues held firm with some excellent defence, particularly from Sotutu at a late Highlanders line-out, to ensure they retained their 100 per cent record.

European rugby chiefs are pushing ahead with plans for Marseille to stage the Champions Cup and Challenge Cup finals, after new dates were revealed on Thursday.

Both competitions had their quarter-finals line-ups confirmed before the coronavirus pandemic forced rugby to be put on hold.

The Premiership is expected to resume in England in August, as is the Pro14 featuring teams from Wales, Scotland, Italy, Ireland and South Africa. France's Top 14 2020-21 season is due to start in September.

There is now clarity on when the delayed European competitions will get back under way, with the quarter-finals to be played across September 18-20 and the semi-finals on September 25-27.

The Champions Cup final will take place on October 17, a day after the Challenge Cup showpiece, said European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR).

New venues for each match may need to be found if teams and supporters are not allowed to travel to the south of France.

An EPCR statement said: "EPCR remains committed to staging the matches in Marseille, however, the situation is under review in light of public gathering and international travel restrictions which might be in place at the time of the finals."

France is due to ease coronavirus restrictions and allow up to 5,000 spectators to attend sporting events from July 11, with the possibility of that number being raised depending on the success of reopening.

Marseille's Stade Velodrome, the venue for each final, can seat over 67,000 fans.

Exeter Chiefs, Northampton Saints, Clermont Auvergne, Racing 92, Leinster, Saracens, Toulouse and Ulster are in the Champions Cup quarter-finals.

The remaining Challenge Cup sides are Bordeaux-Begles, Edinburgh, Toulon, Scarlets, Leicester Tigers, Castres, Bristol Bears and Dragons.

The All Blacks are in talks with rugby league world champions Australia over a cross-code match later this year, New Zealand Rugby (NZR) has confirmed.

December 5 has been mooted as the potential date for a 14-a-side meeting between rugby union powerhouse New Zealand and the Kangaroos.

Both codes are keen to generate as much revenue as possible, having been shut down for three months during the coronavirus pandemic.

"We've had an approach. We'll work that through and go through the proper process... if we feel it has merit to take further," NZR chief executive Mark Robinson said.

"It's one of the many different options ... we are considering.

"It's not new. The last time NZR had an approach was in 2017."

However, Robinson did state the "priority" for the All Blacks remains competing in international rugby union.

Australia coach Mal Meninga is keen for the game to be agreed to help the Kangaroos achieve "global recognition".

"I'm keen to make this happen. We want to play the All Blacks, hopefully, we can get the concept off the ground," he told the Courier Mail.

"This would take the Kangaroos to the world. There will be global recognition.

"We are still in talks but obviously news of this has got out.

"The best from our game versus the best from the New Zealand game … let's do it."

Melbourne-based franchise the Rebels will temporarily relocate to Canberra ahead of their Super Rugby AU opener following a spike in coronavirus cases in Victoria.

The Rebels play their first fixture in the domestic competition, being held after Super Rugby was suspended due to the global health pandemic, at the Brumbies on July 4.

It was announced on Wednesday the team will travel to the Australian capital on Friday, casting doubt on whether the Rebels can host their round-two fixture against the Reds in Melbourne.

The news follows the decision taken by the NRL to relocate the Melbourne Storm to New South Wales indefinitely, with their fixture against the New Zealand Warriors on Saturday having been moved to Sydney.

Players and staff were tested for COVID-19 on Monday and all returned negative results. The team announced all will be tested again on Thursday.

Rebels CEO Baden Stephenson said: "This is undoubtedly a very fluid situation and we are committed to keeping our people safe and healthy in accordance with government advice and regulations. 

"At the same time, we will do all that we can to ensure the successful delivery of the Super Rugby AU competition.

"We've been in constructive dialogue with Rugby AU, SANZAAR and RUPA for the last 24 hours and we have all agreed that decisive action is required.

"There are a lot of Australians far worse off than us in these challenging times and we are still grateful for the opportunity to return to play and hopefully make our fans proud."

The Rebels added a decision as to where the team will be based following the Brumbies fixture will be taken in due course.

Crusaders captain Scott Barrett will miss the rest of the Super Rugby Aotearoa season as he requires surgery on a big toe injury.

The New Zealand lock was hurt playing in an internal game on June 13 and, following medical consultation, the decision was taken for Barrett to go under the knife.

Alex Ainley comes into the squad to cover for Barrett, while Codie Taylor takes over the armband.

A Crusaders statement read: "Crusaders Captain Scott Barrett sustained a significant injury to the structures supporting his big toe, while playing in the Crusaders internal game on Saturday 13 June.  

"After consultation with a foot specialist, it has been determined that Scott will miss the remainder of the Investec Super Rugby Aotearoa competition to undergo surgery and allow sufficient time to recover. Exact return to play dates are uncertain at this stage. 

"Alex Ainley has joined the Crusaders squad as injury cover for the competition, and Codie Taylor will take over captaincy of the side for the remainder of the season."

Barrett signed a new deal to stay with New Zealand Rugby and the Crusaders until 2023 last month.

Michael Hooper is not guaranteed to keep the captain's armband under new Australia coach Dave Rennie.

Rennie will formally assume the role next month and he revealed the team will be selected before a skipper is chosen.

The incoming Wallabies boss also expressed disappointment that Izack Rodda and Harry Hockings will not be at his disposal after refusing to accept pay cuts that were signed off by the Rugby Union Players Association and Rugby Australia.

After a tough spell under Michael Cheika, beaten 2019 Rugby World cup quarter-finalists Australia will hope for a brighter future under former Glasgow Warriors coach Rennie but he is not sure who will lead his team.

"We haven't spoken about captaincy at all, and I've spoken with Hoops a lot on various things," Rennie said when asked on a Zoom call if Hooper would stay on as captain.

"All we've talked about at the moment is earning the right to play, so it's about playing well enough to win the jersey and then we'll sort out who the captain will be."

Hooper recently stepped down from the captaincy role with the Waratahs and Rennie believes the flanker's performances have improved as a result.

"Clearly, he's not doing it at the Waratahs, and that's been good for his game to be honest, I think he's played really well. He's still leading, no doubt, he just hasn't got the 'C' next to his name," Rennie said.

"So, he's a strong contender for captain but we haven't firmed up any decisions around that; we'll just work out what the team is and then we'll select the captain. But there [are] lots of good leaders in amongst that group."

On the issue of Rodda and Hockings, both of whom have come in for heavy criticism, Rennie felt perhaps the full story had not come to light.

"I've spoken a lot to Izack, I don't know what's been reported, I don't tend to read a lot of papers, but the full picture probably hasn't been painted," he said.

"I had a good chat to him last week, but he's gone and the whole situation is really messy and could have been handled a lot better. So that's disappointing.

"With young Harry Hockings gone, who I think could have been an outstanding international lock, and with Izack gone, and when you look at guys like Rory Arnold heading off last year, there's certainly an opportunity for some guys [locks] coming through. So not ideal but it is what it is, and we've got to get on with it."

The Crusaders blitzed the Hurricanes 39-25 to open their Super Rugby Aotearoa season in ruthless fashion.

Visitors the Crusaders ran in five tries to one to claim the bonus point at Sky Stadium in Wellington on Sunday.

Two late tries from Richie Mo'unga and replacement David Havili ensured Super Rugby champions the Crusaders left New Zealand's capital with the points.

The Hurricanes were right in contention with 15 minutes remaining against the Crusaders, the scores level at 25-apiece.

However, errors proved costly for the winless Hurricanes – who slumped to their second defeat from two games in the domestic Super Rugby competition following the coronavirus crisis.

Kobus van Wyk's mistake helped Mo'unga and the Crusaders break the deadlock 12 minutes from the end before Havili sealed the win.

Sevu Reece, Brayden Ennor and Jack Goodhue had scored first-half tries for the Crusaders, while Jackson Garden-Bachop's 20 points kept the Hurricanes in the mix.

Beauden Barrett helped the Blues shift through the gears and shake off the Chiefs in a 24-12 Super Rugby Aotearoa triumph - their first in Hamilton since 2011.

The Blues scored the only try of the first half, Hoskins Sotutu burrowing over after his fellow forwards laid siege to the Chiefs line.

That score was largely against the run of the opening 40 minutes, with Damian McKenzie's unerring boot keeping the Chiefs in touch as their opponents' penalty count mounted.

Goalkicker Otere Black made way for the Blues after the hour, allowing Barrett to move forward to fly-half.

The switch paid instant dividends as the All Blacks superstar landed a 64th-minute drop goal. Five minutes later, his penalty opened up a seven-point advantage.

The Blues did not look back from that point and Mark Telea finished brilliantly in the corner to make the game safe.

Barrett was unable to add the extras from the touchline but his influence had already proved decisive in securing a franchise record fifth consecutive win away from home.

June 20 is a day LeBron James will remember fondly, World Cup finals were settled and arguably the most famous penalty technique was first introduced. 

James was once again the king of Miami after leading the Heat to NBA glory in a thrilling series against the San Antonio Spurs. 

New Zealand made history at the first Rugby World Cup, while this day also saw Australia completely dominant in cricket's showpiece event.

Look back at some fond moments from years gone by on this day. 


1976 - The Panenka is born as Czechoslovakia celebrate

Defending European champions and reigning World Cup holders West Germany were overwhelming favourites for the final of Euro 1976. 

While Jan Svehlik and Karol Dobias put Czechoslovakia into a two-goal lead after 25 minutes, Dieter Muller and Bernd Holzenbein both scored to force extra-time in a 2-2 draw. 

When the additional minutes could not split the teams, a penalty shoot-out was required. Uli Hoeness' miss presented Antonin Panenka with a golden opportunity to seal glory.

His long run-up and delicate chip deceived goalkeeper Sepp Maier, leading to the birth of the famous Panenka penalty and earning a 5-3 victory shoot-out victory.


1987 - New Zealand win first final 

A near 50,000-strong crowd roared New Zealand on to victory on home soil at Eden Park in the first ever Rugby World Cup final. 

The fearsome All Blacks were too good for Scotland and Wales in the previous knockout rounds, but France had stunned Australia to provide hope of an upset. 

Instead, it was one-way traffic. Michael Jones, captain David Kirk and John Kirwan scored tries in a convincing 29-9 win over Les Bleus.  

Surprisingly, New Zealand would not be crowned champions again until 2011. 


1999 – Australia Lord it over Pakistan

The 1999 Cricket World Cup final was about as one-sided as it gets as Australia thrashed Pakistan by eight wickets. 

An enigmatic Pakistan side were skittled for a meagre 132 in 39 overs after surprisingly opting to bat first at Lord's, leg-spinner Shane Warne returning figures of 4-33. 

Australia – led by Steve Waugh - rattled off the chase with a whopping 29.5 overs to spare, Adam Gilchrist celebrating a half-century in the process. 

It marked the first of three consecutive World Cup triumphs for the Australians, as they reigned again under the captaincy of Ricky Ponting in both 2003 and 2007. 


2013 – LeBron's Heat reign again after Spurs epic

For the second straight year, LeBron James was named NBA Finals MVP as the Miami Heat retained their title by defeating the Spurs. 

It was the third straight year a star-studded Heat roster including Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh had made it through to the Finals. 

A see-saw series had seen the Spurs lead on three occasions but a dramatic 103-100 overtime win in Game 6, considered by many to be one of the great playoff contests in NBA history, set up a decider. 

James duly put up a game-high 37 points and provided 12 rebounds and four assists in a 95-88 triumph. 

The Spurs would gain revenge a year later, which proved to be James' last season in Miami as he returned to the Cleveland Cavaliers, the team who had drafted him first overall in 2003. 

August 22 is the target date for the Pro14 season to resume with derby clashes, five months after the campaign was suspended due to the coronavirus crisis. 

It was agreed at a board meeting on June 9 that the aim should be for the action to resume in two months' time. 

There are set to be two rounds of derby matches in all five territories late in August, with the final planned for September 12. 

The top two teams in Conference A and B will qualify for the semi-finals following a regular season that is to be reduced from 21 games to 15. 

Matches that were postponed before the indefinite suspension of the campaign in March will go down as 0-0 draws. 

Derby showdowns for teams in Ireland and Wales have not yet been confirmed. 

Tournament director David Jordan said: "Safety has been, and will continue to be, the highest priority as we look to activate our plans to restart the 2019/20 season.

"We are very fortunate to be in a position where everyone involved is confident that we can conclude the season on the field of play.

"The work and diligence of our leading medical personnel at our unions, our clubs, World Rugby and key stakeholders to get us to this point has been immense.

"Operating across five territories often brings different complexities to the Pro14 but our unions have worked hard to bring proposals to their governments so we may put plans into action."

Tiger Woods did not only win the 2000 U.S. Open on June 18, he did so having obliterated the rest of the field.

Two decades ago, no one could get near to Woods and his record-breaking performance at Pebble Beach.

Mike Catt got much closer to Jonah Lomu five years earlier, not that he was able to stop him, while Eoin Morgan was delivering his own dominant performance on June 18, 2019.

Here we take a look at three major sporting events to have occurred on June 18 in previous years.

 

1995 - Lomu steamrollers England

Lomu delivered perhaps the finest individual performance at a Rugby World Cup match when starring for New Zealand against England in the 1995 semi-final.

The wing scored four tries as the All Blacks won 45-29 against an England side that simply could not contain the All Blacks' number 11.

His first score was the best, as Lomu collected a ball that bounced behind him, held off two England players and then dismissively ploughed over Catt when off-balance before dotting down.

In another incredible demonstration of speed, Lomu crossed for the fourth time when side-stepping Catt to leave the England back grasping at air.

 

2000 - Woods goes wire-to-wire at Pebble Beach

Stating Woods was the wire-to-wire winner at the 2000 U.S. Open only begins to explain his dominance given his eventual major record 15-stroke advantage.

Woods arrived at the 100th U.S. Open as a two-time major champion and a third looked assured even before the weekend as he had a six-shot lead after 36 holes.

Only playing against himself by the Sunday, Woods parred the opening nine holes before reeling off four birdies in five holes en route to a final-round 67. It was the first of four majors in a row that Woods would win - which became known as the 'Tiger Slam'.

 

2019 - Aerial Eoin dismantles Afghanistan attack

Prior to hosting the World Cup on home soil in 2019, England players had mused on the possibility of becoming the first team in ODI history to score 500 runs.

It did not quite happen, but the reason for such optimism was evident when they took Afghanistan's attack apart in making 397-6 in a group-stage game at Old Trafford.

Several records did fall as captain Morgan made the most sixes in an ODI (17), England accrued the most maximums in an ODI (25) while poor Rashid Khan went for 0-110 off his nine overs.

Morgan, who would end up lifting the trophy later that tournament, finished with a frankly ridiculous 148 from 71 balls before England claimed a 150-run success.

Izack Rodda has joined Lyon just over a month after his Reds departure was confirmed.

Rugby Australia (RA) and the Reds released Rodda, Isaac Lucas and Harry Hockings from their contracts following a pay dispute in May.

Rodda, who has won 25 caps for Australia, refused to accept a reduced salary amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The 23-year-old lock was on Wednesday confirmed as a Lyon player along with number eight Gillian Galan, who makes the move from Toulouse.

Mathieu Bastareaud has also joined the Top 14 side along with Colby Fainga'a, Joe Taufete'e and Leo Berdeu.

Lyon were second in the table when the season was cancelled due to the coronavirus.

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