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Anti-Doping Takes Centre Stage At Women’s World Cup

Anti-Doping Takes Centre Stage At Women’s World Cup

The world’s top female rugby players have joined the International Rugby Board in spreading the anti-doping education message on ‘Keep Rugby Clean Day’ at the 2014 Women’s Rugby World Cup in France.

The pinnacle event in the Women’s rugby 15s calendar, #WRWC2014 has captured the public’s imagination around the world as the exciting action on the field has reached a record number of fans from the stadium to the armchair.

And with the event enjoying global exposure, the IRB is hoping that a strong education platform, backed by all the teams, will assist in educating and informing sportswomen and men around the world about the perils of doping.

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IRB anti-doping manager for testing and education, Ilaria Baudo, said: “All players – whether they are involved in the men’s or women’s game – must understand the consequences of doping, and how to maintain a healthy and clean approach to sports nutrition.

“This is not solely achieved via a robust programme of testing, but by education and I am delighted that all the Women’s Rugby World Cup teams have embraced the Keep Rugby Clean message.”

Click here for more on the IRB’s ‘Keep Rugby Clean’ campaign.

Two-time Olympic medal winner Heather Moyse is also an IRB anti-doping ambassador. “It’s so important to ‘Keep Rugby Clean’. It’s about respecting the game, respecting your team-mates, your opponents and most of all, respecting yourself,” she said.

“Players should embrace the challenge of discovering just how good they can be!”

Central to the mandatory education programme, players were shown a moving video featuring former Scotland Under-20 player Sam Chalmers. Chalmers tested positive for a banned substance in the run up to last year’s IRB Junior World Championship and was subsequently banned for two years.

The full-back went on to tell his story to other players to encourage them to ‘Keep Rugby Clean’. You can watch Sam’s video below:

The IRB spent the early part of the tournament visiting each team to deliver an anti-doping education outreach session. The session focused on ethics and morality and included an interactive game which highlighted the negative emotions around winning and losing as a result of cheating.

Rugby’s values were prominent in the discussion and all teams expressed their desire that while winning is important, it should not come at the expense of the integrity of the game.

‘Keep Rugby Clean Day’ will see all teams take to the field for their pre-match warm-up wearing ‘Keep Rugby Clean’ T-shirts in support of the anti-doping initiative. Get involved on social media using the hashtag #keeprugbyclean.