Port Elizabeth – Former EP Kings flank
Siyanda Mangaliso, who was banned from rugby for doping in 2013, has managed to
find an alternative career through his players’ organisation.
Mangaliso was recognised as one of the top
talents emerging through the Eastern Province rugby ranks. After impressing as
a junior player at Grey High in Port Elizabeth and for the EP age-group teams
in 2008 and 2009, he found opportunity in the union’s senior squad following a
brief stint at Free State.
He made a notable impact in the Vodacom Cup
and Currie Cup First Division in 2013. However, Mangaliso tested positive for
an illegal substance that same year and was slapped with a two-year ban from
Mangaliso was rocked by the news.
“It was really a tough time for me. Rugby
was my life, and suddenly, it was taken away from me,” Mangaliso told
MyPlayers.co.za. “I knew what I was doing was wrong. But as a young rugby
player, you never think you’d get caught. It was a massive disappointment for
me, my friends and family and those who supported my career.”
Mangaliso turned to MyPlayers, the Rugby
Players’ Organisation, for assistance. The 25-year-old found an alternative
career as a sales manager at Kestrel Insurance Brokers, where he currently
“I really appreciate the help MyPlayers
offered me,” explained Mangaliso. “First and foremost, the moral support that
was offered to me made me feel like I was part of a family. That lifted my
spirits in a very difficult situation and helped me to move on with life.
“I was given proper advice and guidance
from them, which helped me get the opportunity at Kestrel, where I am enjoying
Mangaliso hopes his personal story can
motivate players, especially age-group players and schoolboys, to avoid doping.
“This experience has been a massive
learning curve. After I tested positive, I found myself alone as players quickly
distanced themselves from me,” said Mangaliso.
“Young players in South Africa find
themselves under huge pressure to secure professional or provincial contracts
after school. In the Eastern Cape, you get so many boys who want to be the next
Siya Kolisi or the next Kurt Coleman, so they turn to doping to increase their
chances of achieving this. But this is by no means the easy solution. You’re
only fooling yourself, and you will get caught.
“As a young player, your main focus should
be on education. This should be your main priority. It’s so valuable to have
qualifications behind your name because rugby does not last forever.”
Mangaliso will be eligible to play rugby
again in December 2015. So will we see him attempt a comeback?
“At this stage, I’m not really sure, to be
honest,” admitted Mangaliso. “I am focused on my current career as a sales
manager at Kestrel, which is going very well. Before deciding on a return to
rugby, I will look at where I stand with my job and studies, which is now my
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