RFU found seven doping violations in 2014-15
ESPN Staff
December 18, 2015
© Tony Marshall/Getty Images

The Rugby Football Union has revealed that it discovered seven anti-doping violations during the 2014-15 season.

All seven violations involved players "outside of the elite game" according to the RFU's anti-doping annual report, which was published on Friday.

It is the fifth year that the governing body has released the findings of its anti-doping activity in England, with violations arising from intelligence-led investigations (four) outnumbering those from positive tests for the first time.

In all, the testing programme conducted 719 anti-doping test in and out-of-competition, of which three returned positive results. That is down from five testing violations during the 2013-14 season, while the overall number for that campaign was 11.

The majority of positive results have come from the lower levels of the professional game, and the RFU also revealed that a greater focus would be placed on the National League structure, while players would receive greater education on the dangers of doping.

"Cheating, and the blight of doping, plays no part in our game," RFU rugby director Rob Andrew said. "Everyone recognises the damage that drug use can do to the image of the game. As public figures, players can set a positive example to others, particularly for the thousands of young people who love the sport.

"It is a sad fact that performance enhancing drug use is not an issue that is confined to elite sport and has permeated through society. Recreational players doping in order to improve their performance, and young people taking performance enhancing drugs in a bid to enhance their image, present a challenge to society in general and the core values of the game."

The RFU's Anti-Doping Advisory Group works closely with UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) and law enforcement agencies in terms of intelligence sharing.

Pat Myhill, UKAD director of operations, said: "We live in a country where sport is an integral part of the cultural fabric of our community. Sport can carry the hopes of a nation, however we must accept that there will always be those who look to exploit those hopes.

"The only way we can tackle these issues is by working closely together."

© ESPN Staff

Live Sports

Communication error please reload the page.