WADA Praises Rugby's Anti-Doping Stance
The statement on its website (attached below) also congratulates the IRB on its Anti-Doping programme for Rugby World Cup 2007 and emphasises the close working relationship it enjoys with the IRB.
“Rugby is a strong supporter of WADA. The IRB is a signatory to the WADA code and has worked closely on a number of projects with WADA aiming to raise awareness and the profile of WADA and the campaign against drug cheats in sport,” said IRB Chief Executive Mike Miller.
“We have substantial in and out of competition testing programmes all over the world that are run by both the IRB and a number of our Member National Unions. This includes a comprehensive testing programme for Rugby World Cup 2007.”
“The IRB’s Anti-Doping programme has in place a full-time, dedicated Anti-Doping team, managed by Tim Ricketts, that has overseen the testing of over 2000 players in the last two years. In June 2004 the IRB signed up to the WADA Code following its acceptance as world’s best practice.”
“The IRB has always been proactive in its Anti-Doping programme. We have conducted a record number of Anti-Doping tests and we raise awareness of the dangers of performance-enhancing and recreational drugs through our hugely successful Outreach and Keep Rugby Clean campaigns at Under 19 and Under 21 levels and at other tournaments including last year’s IRB Women’s Rugby World Cup. These have been run and developed in partnership with WADA,” added Mr Miller.
The testing process for Rugby World Cup 2007 started after the last Rugby World Cup in 2003 with players from the world’s top 20 ranked teams being tested out of competition on a regular basis. WADA has also played a part in the IRB’s out of competition testing programme by conducting an additional 40-50 tests annually on players in the IRB’s Registered Testing Pool. In the last 12 months over 30 RWC 2007 qualification matches were also subject to doping controls and testing will be carried out during the finals tournament in September/October this year.
In 2006 the IRB conducted a total of 941 doping controls that included 484 in competition tests at a wide cross section of international IRB Tournaments. This followed 1129 tests in 2005 that included senior, age grade and Rugby Sevens representative teams. Over 57 percent of these tests were conducted out of competition.
In the period 2004-2006 the IRB has handed down suspensions to 14 players for returning positive tests for a variety of banned substances including performance enhancing and recreational drugs. These sanctions are in addition to 136 cases determined by Member Unions. The IRB adopts a supervisory role over the disciplinary process of Member Unions and since 2005 has referred 3 cases to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and has been successful on each count.
The IRB has also been working with WADA on establishing Anti-Doping programmes in the Pacific Islands. This includes the development of a regional Anti-Doping agency in the region.
WADA STATEMENT (May 23)
(Posted on http://www.wada-ama.org/)
WADA Congratulates the IRB on Anti-Doping Activities
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) congratulates the International Rugby Board (IRB) on its proposed anti-doping program to be put in place for the Rugby World Cup in France later this year.
WADA has enjoyed a very close partnership with the IRB over recent years, including significant ventures where the IRB has been pivotal in advancing pilot activities in the anti-doping world, for WADA and with WADA. They include:
1. The introduction of a model Outreach Program and its Keep Rugby Clean campaign conducted by the IRB at its Women’s Rugby World Cup and its youth events, notably the Under 19 and Under 21 World Cups. These ventures assisted WADA in producing a Model Outreach Program which can be used by all International Federations (IF), and indeed all those responsible for organizing national or international events. This provides a great educational tool for athletes, and models the program that WADA first launched at the Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, 2002.
2. With considerable assistance from the IRB, WADA ran its first pilot Regional Anti-Doping Organization Program in Oceania. This pilot has led to one of the most successful WADA activities whereby anti-doping programs have been introduced to 104 countries, where previously no programs have been run.
3. WADA works very closely with the IRB on its out-of-competition testing program, and is pleased with the progress shown in the breadth of this important process of sample collection.
WADA President R.W. Pound:
“The IRB has demonstrated a keen awareness of the problem of doping in sport and has worked on addressing the issue on a number of fronts in its own sport,” said WADA President Richard W. Pound. “Not only are they taking measures to detect doping through testing, but they have also dedicated resources to deterrence through outreach and education. In addition, their contribution to the development of regional anti-doping programs is helping to build a lasting legacy for the fight against doping in regions previously lacking in anti-doping testing and education. The IRB, who are fully code compliant and have been long-standing partners of WADA, have set a positive example in the fight to keep drugs cheats out of sport that other sports federations would do well to follow. Their in and out of competition testing programs are comprehensive, as shown by their anti-doping program for this year’s Rugby World Cup which began just after the previous Rugby World Cup in 2003 with regular out of competition testing on.