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Stander: 'Don't stand for doping'

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'It [doping] isn't a great thing to do at all... rugby is a great sport and we need to keep it clean'

CJ Stander has called on players to think twice before they ever consider doping in rugby. The South African has made it big in the sport with Munster, Ireland and the Lions in recent years despite being written off as being too small when growing up in his native country.

He did it the hard way – good, honest, hard work – to rise to the top but some other players are tempted to take shortcuts and there has been much talk about doping in South Africa in recent times.

Springbok Aphiwe Dyantyi has been formally charged with a doping offence for multiple anabolic steroids and metabolites after his A and B urine samples tested positive.

Also, the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport’s (SAIDS) annual report this week revealed that 16 of the 50 anti-doping rule violations (ADRVs) it detected in 2018/19 came from rugby – including six schoolboys who were among those tested at the annual Craven Week interprovincial rugby tournament.

World Rugby boss Brett Gosper insisted on Tuesday that the sport is not rife with performance-enhancing drugs, claiming: “We have been testing the players at this World Cup for the last four years and haven’t stopped, mainly out of competition where you are more likely to catch offenders.”

(Continue reading below…)

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Addressing recent talk in the game about doping, especially back in his native South Africa, Ireland back row Stander said: “When I was young I was out in the sticks. I never really came across a lot.

“I don’t think it’s a great thing to do at all. It’s a great sport and we need to keep it clean. In Ireland anyway they look after all those things and make sure everyone is on track,” he added before commenting on the positive tests detected at Craven Week.

“I played Craven Week probably 11 years ago. The most you got then was the eggs you got in the morning for the protein. I was tested when I played. They were quite on top of it. Probably in the last few years they had more testers out – I don’t really know what happened. If you want to go down that path, I don’t stand for it at all.

“I was always told I was too small. I just made sure I trained hard and trained well, made sure I looked after my body. If they want you to get taller, you can’t. You can just get stronger.”

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'It [doping] isn't a great thing to do at all... rugby is a great sport and we need to keep it clean'