South African Olympic race walker jailed for rape

South African race walker Lebogang Shange has been jailed for rape and assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm.

Local media outlet the Ridge Times reported the former African champion was sentenced to 10 years for rape and six months for rape and assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm by the Evander Magistrates Court.

These sentences are set to run concurrently.

Shange was arrested in 2019 for raping and assaulting a woman in eMbalenhle, although warrant officer Erika Schwartz revealed that he and the victim were from Soweto.

He competed for South Africa at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, finishing 44th in the men’s 20 kilometres race walk.

The following year, he finished fourth in the same race at the World Championships in London, setting a national record of 1 hour 19min 18 sec.

Shange had earlier won the 20km race walk at the African Championships in Marrakech in 2014, and at the 2015 African Games in Brazzaville.

However, he was banned from the rearranged Olympic Games in Tokyo because of a doping offence.

Shange tested positive for anabolic steroid trenbolone in 2019 and was banned for four years.

He appealed, allowing him to secure a qualification place for Tokyo 2020 during a window in June 2021 and a place in the South African team for the Games.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld the four-year ban, ending his hopes of participating.

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