The Irish Rugby Football Union fully recognises the need and its responsibility to remain vigilant at all times to the threat of performance enhancing drugs in the sport and implements an anti-doping policy in line with Irish Sports Council, World Rugby and World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) regulations and guidelines.
Such is rugby's commitment to this matter that in addition to participating in the Irish Sports Council's (ISC) National Programme Testing the sport is one of just seven that directly funds additional ISC testing each year.
The ISC's Anti-Doping Annual Review 2013 confirms a total of 190 tests on rugby players, the majority of which (105) were paid for by rugby organisations under the ISC's paid for testing programme.
In the 2013/14 season 60% of these tests were 'out of competition', which are seen as key to monitoring of potential risks.
Rugby is not unique in relation to the threat posed by doping but the IRFU is at the forefront of monitoring and addressing the matter.
With the support of the ISC Anti-Doping Unit and the IRB, the IRFU is one of the few sports which has a dedicated age grade testing programme and undertakes an Age Grade Anti-Doping Education programme across all National and Provincial Age Grade Teams (U18 Schools, U.18 Clubs and U20s).
The programme encompasses education and anti-doping control (testing) and a blend of workshops conducted by the ISC and completion of the IRB Real Winners e-learning modules. During the 2013/14 season over 500 club and school players underwent the programme.
During the 2013/14 season 37 tests were completed, 50% of which were out of competition.
The IRFU support anti-doping and advise all players to participate in the World Rugby KEEP RUGBY CLEAN e-learning programme.
The Irish Sports Council undertakes anti-doping tests in Ireland.
If you have any queries in relation to anti-doping, please contact Gordon Black (IRFU Anti-Doping Officer) firstname.lastname@example.org