New Zealand Rugby
NZRU confirm two drug violations in 2011
ESPNscrum Staff
December 22, 2011
New Zealand's Graham Henry, Steve Hansen, Dan Carter and Richie McCaw show off the World Cup in Christchurch, Cristchurch, New Zealand, October 25, 2011
None of New Zealand's representative players breached anti-doping regulations in 2011 © Getty Images

The New Zealand Rugby Union have confirmed two violations of their anti-doping regulations during 2011.

Neither of the violations involved illegal substances or a player attempting to enhance performance, according to the NZRU. Both cases involved players from the Bay of Plenty, with one member of the pre-season training missing a test leading to two-year suspension. The second case involved a player being given a masking agent mistakenly during his recovery from a leg infection, resulting in a one-week suspension.

In total 170 tests were carried out by Drug-Free Sport New Zealand (DFSNZ), who are responsible for anti-doping programmes and drug testing from provincial level upwards. The Rugby World Cup 2011 was not part of the testing programme with Rugby World Cup Limited responsible for testing during the tournament.

NZRU general manager of professional rugby Neil Sorensen said: "Two violations this year are two too many, but there were unusual circumstances in both cases and we don't think they are indicative of any significant problem with drugs being used to enhance performance.

"The cases are certainly a timely reminder to all players that they need to be aware of their obligations as the consequences for their careers can be severe. Our goal remains clear. We want our players at all levels, whether international, provincial, club or school to play to the very best of their ability without the damaging influence of drugs."

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