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IRFU Anti-Doping Report Highlights Increased Testing

IRFU Anti-Doping Report Highlights Increased Testing

The Irish Rugby Football Union have published an anti-doping report which shows that 267 tests were carried out in Irish Rugby across the 2015/16 season with no adverse findings recorded.

There was a 40% increase in the number of tests completed in 2015/16 compared to the 2014/15 season and while Rugby World Cup 2015 accounts for a 240% increase in testing of the Ireland senior squad from 28 tests to 94, there was also a significant increase in the level of testing of Ireland’s Sevens players (43) who were competing in various World Rugby competitions.
73% of all Sport Ireland ‘User Pays’ testing in Ireland in 2015 was in rugby. Sport Ireland undertook 114 tests in rugby, while the IRFU (32), EPCR (16), 6 Nations (8) and World Rugby (110) all supplemented the testing through the ‘User Pays’ programme.
At Rugby World Cup 2015, the Ireland senior team were in-competition tested on 24 occasions. A total of 468 samples were taken from across the 20 participating nations – 200 in-competition tests and 268 out-of-competition tests.
The IRFU’s Anti-Doping Report 2015/16 
outlines the Union’s strategy and zero policy approach to anti-doping in rugby. 
IRFU Chief Executive Philip Browne commented: “”The IRFU has a zero tolerance policy to cheating within rugby and is committed to delivering ongoing education in the area of anti-doping. Although rugby has a strong anti-doping track record, it is important that we remain vigilant and demonstrate the core values of our game – integrity, respect and excellence. 

“We are grateful to Sport Ireland for their support, professionalism and expertise. As a sport our message is clear — if you are doping there is no place for you in rugby.””
The IRFU works closely with Sport Ireland to deliver a comprehensive and robust anti-doping programme. The IRFU’s anti-doping strategy focuses on the following areas:

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– In and out of competition testing of professional rugby players in Ireland

– Investment in additional testing to augment Sport Ireland testing through their User Pays programme 

– Mandatory anti-doping education for all professional players in Ireland 

– Mandatory anti-doping education for all representative underage players in Ireland 

– Targeted testing of young players on the player pathway to professional rugby, i.e. provincial & national Schools and Club Under-18, Under-19 & Under-20 squads, provincial Academies, provincial ‘A’ teams 

– Appointment of an anti-doping officer a mandatory element of Ulster Bank League participation

Download the IRFU Anti-Doping report 2015/16 – click here.

The report was published ahead of the Irish Rugby Football Union’s Annual Council meeting later today.