HomeSportRugbyDoping scandal mars Young Sables US trip

Doping scandal mars Young Sables US trip

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The Zimbabwe Under-20 rugby side — the Young Sables — returned yesterday evening from their dismal outing at the Junior World Rugby Trophy (JWRT) in the US where some of their players were reportedly under the spotlight after failing doping tests.

The team’s only consolation is that they finally managed a win at the tournament in two editions after beating Russia in their last match to end a winless streak dating back to the 2011 tournament in Georgia.

The rare win has, however, been overshadowed by allegations that some might have tested positive for performance enhancing drugs. While the results of the tests conducted in the US as part of the International Rugby Board (IRB)’s anti-doping campaign dubbed the Keep Rugby Clean campaign are yet to be made public, Simbarashe Chirara reportedly tested positive, raising fears that more players could have also tested positive.

Responding to recent reports surrounding the doping tests at the Junior World Rugby Trophy, Dominic Rumbles, the IRB’s head of communications, said the world body had a zero-tolerance stance with regards to doping.

“You will be aware that the IRB as a signatory of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) code, operates a zero-tolerance policy towards drugs cheats in sport and undertakes an extensive annual programme of education and testing equating to over 5 000 tests.”

“An extensive testing programme was undertaken at the recent IRB JWRT in Salt Lake City. It would be inappropriate to discuss the outcomes of such testing programmes prior to any results being received.

“In the event of a positive result, IRB would not comment until parties are notified and final hearings into any such matter are concluded,” said Dominic.

The Zimbabwe Rugby Union, through their general manager Sifiso Made, said they would not comment on the issue until they have gathered all the relevant information.

Early this year, the union introduced anti-doping and educational programmes at the annual Cottco Schools Rugby Festival in an effort to enlighten schoolchildren and high school students on banned substances and the consequences of being found guilty.

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