Friday Night Racing

On air now

Friday Night Racing

03:00 PM-04:00 PM

Does Irish Rugby really have a...

Videos

Does Irish Rugby really have a "zero tolerance" policy towards doping?

Off The Ball
Off The Ball

01:04 21 Jun 2018


Share this article


The IRFU's anti-doping policy has been put under scrutiny again after comments by David Nucifora in Sydney ahead of the third test against Australia this Saturday. 

Last season, Munster's signing of Gerbrandt Grobler shone the spotlight on Irish rugby's attitude towards anti-doping with CEO Philip Browne defending the union's record after the signing of the South African. 

He told Off the Ball: "The emphasis that we put on anti-doping in this country is significant. We have four people working - one person in each province working in terms of our spirit programme on anti-doping but if you'd like me to explain, I'll explain. 

"I'll just continue - let me explain. The bottom line is that we have a medical system, we have an anti-doping system, we have an educational system - all of which is geared to ensure we have a clean environment and a safe environment for players to play in. 

"In relation to the Grobler situation I think - the answer I think really is, is firstly, there was no specific policy at that particular time to deal with that particular set of circumstances 

"I certainly didn't talk about it because that doesn't come to me but at the end of the day - I'm not ducking the issue. The issue here is that's 'something we should or should not do' - I think that's a valid question and it's a question we have to take on board and I think it's something we have to consider"

Speaking on OTB AM on Thursday, Ger picked up on Nucifora's comments, saying: "It seems like the IRFU's anti-doping policy is a bit of a mess at the moment.

"This is from their official document, 2016/17 anti-doping policy - this is Philip Browne's introduction: 'The IRFU continues to invest in education and awareness campaigns around the dangers of doping in sport. We operate a zero tolerance policy towards cheating in rugby' - so that's what they say."

However, ahead of the deciding test match of the series against Australia this Saturday, Nucifora, the union's Performance Director, appears to contradict the official line, saying: "I think it wouldn't be smart to put a stamp and say 'anyone who has had a doping conviction cannot play rugby here'. That wouldn't make any sense whatsoever, so I think moving forward, you continue to look at it on a case by case basis."

Ger went on: "'You continue to look at it on a case by case basis' is not a zero tolerance policy. That's fairly obvious - it's a rudimentary use of language.

"In your anti-doping policy, in the documents you publish you say 'we have a zero tolerance policy' but when the guy who is hiring people says 'well, actually we're gonna look at it on a case by case basis' then, somebody, somewhere, hasn't read the memo." 

Catch the full discussion from Thursday's OTB AM here:

Does Irish Rugby really have a "zero tolerance" policy towards doping?

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Subscribe to Off The Ball's YouTube channel for more videos, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for the latest sporting news and content.


Share this article


Live: Title

Description

Added to queue
Removed from queue

On Air

Share

Share

Next up in queue

Title
Description
Duration

There are currently no podcasts in the queue

Go to podcasts

On Air

Friday Night Racing

Friday Night Racing

03:00 PM-04:00 PM

Share

Up next

Rugby on Off The Ball

Rugby on Off The Ball

04:00 PM-05:00 PM

Share

OTB

OTB

05:00 PM-06:00 PM

Share

OTB Gold

OTB Gold

06:00 PM-07:00 PM

Share

OFF THE BALL

OFF THE BALL

07:00 PM-10:00 PM

Share

Highlights on Off The Ball

Highlights on Off The Ball

07:00 AM-01:00 PM

Share

OFF THE BALL

OFF THE BALL

01:00 PM-05:00 PM

Share

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Share on