Rugby Union’s latest anti-doping figures for 2013 have shown the sport has a higher percentage of positive test results than both athletics and cycling.
The IRB has moved quickly to avoid a potential backlash in the sporting community saying that they welcomes the figures, but that they do not necessarily paint the whole picture.
The figures show rugby’s figure of 1.3 per cent is a higher Adverse Analytical Finding (AAF) than both athletics and cycling, which both come in at 1. 2 per cent. An AAF means the presence of a prohibited substance or its metabolite was found in the sample.
“What it doesn’t mean is rugby is less clean than other sports,” said an IRB spokesman. “You cannot deduce that. What it shows is that an intelligent anti-doping program in rugby is working and catching those using illegal substances.
“We want to catch people using banned substances. A lot of our testing is targeted and we focus a lot on the Under 20s.
“Quite often positive tests would come from supplements. We know they are particularly susceptible there, so education is also a big part of our program. These figures show they will be tested and they will be caught if they use illegal substances.”
Do you think that there is too much pressure on young rugby players to turn to illegal means in order to compete physically in today’s game?