THE International Rugby Board (IRB) finally released the names of the three former Zimbabwe Under-20 rugby team players who failed doping tests at the 2012 IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy in Salt Lake City, Utah in the US.
Simbarashe Chirara, Dylan Coetzee and Ian Wilson Muza were all handed two-year bans after testing positive for the prohibited substance anabolic androgenic steroids.
“Chirara provided an out-of-competition sample prior to the tournament, which was found to contain 19-norandrosterone and 19-noretiocholanolone, which are metabolites of nandrolone,” said the IRB in a statement.
“He (Chirara) took no part in the tournament and was given a two-year ban with six months suspended. His sanction will run until 15 Dec 2013.”
“Coetzee provided an out-of-competition sample at the tournament which was also found to contain nandrolone. He was given a 2-year sanction which will end on 21 June 2014.
“Muza was given a two-year sanction after the sample he provided out of competition at the tournament was found to contain the presence of stanozolol. His sanction will run until 28 June 2014.
According to the written judgments released by the IRB, Chirara and Muza appeared before a judicial committee held via teleconference of November 20 and 21 2012 respectively.
Zimbabwe Rugby Union (ZRU)executive vice-president Colleen de Jong, who was the team manager during the tour, attended the hearings together with ZRU chief executive officer Sifiso Made and the IRB’s anti-doping manager Tim Ricketts.
Coetzee, who is now based at Hartpury College, also appeared in a hearing on three separate occasions on November 21, 29 and December 4 2012 by way of telephone conference.
Muza told the judicial committee that he purchased 60ml of the banned substance stanozolol from an acquaintance who was only identified as “Lois”.
“The player purchased syringes from a pharmacy, taught
himself how to inject into the buttock and subsequently injected himself with stanozolol on eight to 10 occasions over a four-week period.’
“His objective was to get bigger in the gym training as (he) was under pressure to get bigger for (his) position as tight-head prop.”
He acknowledged this “pressure” was self-induced. There was no mention of any other party pressurising the player to get bigger.
According to the IRB’s written judgments,Chirara told the judicial committee that he obtained the banned substances from a fellow rugby player, AB. AB has also been identified as the supplier of Dylan Coetzee.
Meanwhile, ZRU has reaffirmed its commitment to enhanced anti-doping education after the suspensions handed down to Muza, Coetzee and Chirara.
With concern expressed by the IRB regarding anti-doping education in age-grade Rugby in Zimbabwe, the global governing body has established a pilot project in the union to strengthen education and testing, with a focus on age-grade players in schools and events from the beginning of 2014.
The programme will be based on the IRB’s successful Keep Rugby Clean education initiative and will be run in partnership with the Zimbabwe Olympic Committee, the World Anti-Doping Agency and Africa Zone VI Anti-Doping Organisation.
IRB Anti-Doping Manager for Testing and Education, Ilaria Baudo, said “I would like to thank the ZRU for their commitment to prioritising anti-doping education within the Rugby family.”
“It’s important that players and administrators understand that there is no place for doping in sport, and education has a major role to play in that process. That is why we are pleased to be delivering this pilot scheme.”
“The sessions were very valuable to the Zimbabwean Union and I expect they will be of great benefit in the future.”
The IRB operates a zero-tolerance policy on doping. Players are solely responsible for any prohibited substance found in their body.