Zero tol­er­ance on dop­ing?

The Irish Times - Monday - Sport - - Rugby -

Of course rugby has no is­sue with dop­ing or abuse of con­tam­i­nated sup­ple­ments. Not that any­one in the Ir­ish Sports Coun­cil or the IRFU can con­firm this with cer­tainty be­cause there is no test­ing of sec­ondary school boys in Ire­land de­spite com­pelling ev­i­dence of dop­ing cul­tures in South Africa, New Zealand and the English un­der­age game.

Last week the Times pub­lished in­ter­views with sev­eral UK play­ers and coaches (anony­mously) when easy ac­cess to banned sub­stances was re­vealed.

“It is so f***ing easy to get hold of when you’re a stu­dent,” said one player.

“I was in­ject­ing vials of testos­terone, Tren­bolone, stuff that yielded quick ben­e­fits. I said to peo­ple, ‘If you’re not go­ing to get caught, then you should do it too.’ ”

The Times noted that be­tween UK Anti-Dop­ing (Ukad), the RFU, World Rugby, the Six Na­tions and Euro­pean Pro­fes­sional Club Rugby, 623 anti-dop­ing tests were car­ried out on play­ers from Eng­land’s top two di­vi­sions last sea­son.

In the 132 matches of last sea­son’s Premier­ship, there were 16 tests. Hav­ing un­cov­ered three pos­i­tive test from 2,433 tests in 2017, World Rugby re­cently stated: “The pro­gramme com­prised 72 per cent of tests un­der­taken out of com­pe­ti­tion as the In­ter­na­tional Fed­er­a­tion con­tin­ues to pri­ori­tise an in­tel­li­gence and risk-based ap­proach in elite rugby.”

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