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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 (ISC), World Rugby and World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) regulations and guidelines.

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:

  • 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 All Ireland League participation

The IRFU is one of a small number of sporting organisations to invest annually in Sport Ireland’s ‘User Pays’ programme and this investment is augmented by other rugby governing bodies such as World Rugby, Six Nations and European Professional Club Rugby who also carry out in-competition and out-of-competition testing of Irish professional rugby players across the season.

IRFU Anti Doping Reports

IRFU Anti Doping Report 2017/18

IRFU Anti Doping Report 2016/17

IRFU’s Anti-Doping Report 2015/16

Irish Sports Council Report Doping Banner



Keep Rugby Clean: The IRFU support anti-doping and advise all players to participate in the World Rugby KEEP RUGBY CLEAN e-learning programme

Irish Sports Council: The ISC provide an excellent education platform online


Such is rugby’s commitment to Anti-Doping that in addition to participating in the ISC National Programme Testing, the sport is one of just seven that directly funds additional ISC testing each year. With the support of the ISC Anti-Doping Unit and World Rugby, 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 World Rugby Real Winners e-learning modules.

IRFU Anti-Doping Officer

If you have any queries in relation to anti-doping, please contact Anne Marie Hughes

WADA Rules

WADA Prohibited List