SA will be stripped of its world relay gold medal after one member of the 4x100m team was handed a two year and six months ban for doping.
This is the first time that a drug ban has cost the country a podium spot at a major athletics competition.
Thando Dlodlo, who kicked off the relay, tested positive for testosterone at the SA championships in Pretoria a few weeks before and has been banned for two years and six months.
Sprint star Akani Simbine delivered a powerful run on the final leg to secure the victory, but he, teammates Gift Leotlela and Clarence Munyai as well as Dlodlo will have to return their medals, SA Doping Institute for Drug-Free Sport (Saids) CEO Khalid Galant said on Tuesday.
TimesLIVE understands the prize money from World Relays had been withheld pending the outcome of the case.
Dlodlo should have been banned for four years, but received a reduction for an early admission of guilt, Galant added. Such reductions in penalty normally also come with a level of co-operation with the investigation.
The 22-year-old, who competed for Tuks and was considered one of the rising stars of the sprint track, competed until late June last year, finishing second in a 100m race in Switzerland and winning the 200m B-final on the same day.
He was also part of the 4x100m relay team at the 2019 world championships in Doha that clocked the 37.65sec SA record.
Dlodlo also represented SA at the 2019 African championships, winning bronze in the relay and ending eighth in the 100m final.
His best seasons were 2018 and 2019, clocking 10.11 and 10.08.