Dublin – Ireland, June 26, 2012: Some of the world’s top Under 20 players, currently taking part in the IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy in Salt Lake City, Utah, have pledged to stay drug-free in support for the IRB’s Keep Rugby Clean outreach, education and testing programmes.
The initiative, delivered in partnership with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), aims to maintain a level playing field for the sport and all players, team support staff, match officials and tournament organisers at the JWRT have been wearing Keep Rugby Clean t-shirts to draw attention to the programme.
The IRB maintains a zero-tolerance policy towards drugs cheats in Rugby.
“Keep Rugby Clean is a great educational initiative that has the potential to quickly become a very powerful tool in the quest to reduce the impact of drugs, both in rugby, but also in wider society,” said Australia captain David Pocock, who is a Keep Rugby Clean ambassador.
“I was delighted to be given the opportunity to participate in the programme. To be given the chance to offer guidance to others, in the same manner in which it was afforded to me at the IRB Junior World Championship in 2008, is a privilege that I hold dear.”
Fellow Keep Rugby Clean Ambassadors represent all areas of the Game, including Women’s Rugby and Sevens, with Sam Warburton (Wales), Felipe Contemponi (Argentina), Bryan Habana (South Africa), Cecil Afrika (South Africa Sevens), Vincent Clerc (France), Carla Hohepa (New Zealand) and Heather Moyse (Canada) already an essential part of the education and outreach programme.
“The IRB and its Member Unions are committed to the fight against doping in sport and have worked tirelessly with WADA in recent years to ensure Rugby’s zero tolerance to doping is supported by robust educational and outreach programmes,” said IRB Anti-Doping Manager Tim Ricketts.
“Our Keep Rugby Clean Ambassadors have been instrumental in the programme’s success. I would like to thank both players and their Unions for their support and indeed all of our Keep Rugby Clean ambassadors who play such a key role in this crucial education process. We have a strong international line-up and with Felipe Contepomi on the WADA Athlete Committee, Rugby has a strong voice in anti-doping matters.”
“While Rugby continues to be at the forefront in the fight against doping in sport, we have a collective responsibility to ensure that our players, physicians and administrators have access to the very best educational framework,” added Ricketts.
Earlier this year, the IRB launched its latest anti-doping handbook which can be downloaded from www.keeprugbyclean.com in eight languages, underscoring the governing body’s commitment to best-practice education and information.
The handbook contains the 2012 WADA List of Prohibited Substances and Methods, Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs), urine and blood testing procedures, nutritional supplements and substance factsheets. —— IRB