Conor Murray says he was deeply ‘hurt’ by rumours that he’d failed a drugs test.
He spent almost five months out of the game with an unspecified neck injury, which he picked up during Ireland’s June tour of Australia. There were unsubstantiated rumours that the Ireland and Munster scrum half had failed a drugs test, which was being covered up.
Murray was speaking to the Limerick Defence Forces earlier this week and was asked what had been the most difficult part of his injury layoff.
“The toughest part of this was the outside rumours that my friends and family would hear. Crazy stuff that I’d failed all sorts of drugs tests and they were just keeping it under wraps and letting me serve my ban. That kind of hurt a little bit,” he said, as reported by the Limerick Leader newspaper.
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Murray elected not to divulge the nature of his injury, which in turn meant the media “had nothing to feed off”.
“They were guessing what was wrong, and thinks I’m going to have to retire. It’s not nice hearing it for yourself, but them your family don’t really know either. They are seeing second hand information. It’s quite tough.”
Murray eventually returned to the pitch at the end of November when he came off the bench in a 32-7 win over Zebre in Parma. He singled out his teammates for getting him through a tough period in his career.
“It was the unity of my team. Munster would hear the same rumours and on Monday morning, they’d be slagging me about it, and make light of it straight away. Having a good team around you and a good head space is really important. It helps me,” he added.
“You hear a lot of players saying they don’t read the media or look at Twitter, but you can’t avoid it. If you don’t see it on your phone, your friends will say it back to you and it will affect you somehow.”
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