Rugby player Joubert hit with massive IRB sanction

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FORMER national rugby Under-20 player Shane Joubert has been banned for six years by the International Rugby Board (IRB) for his involvement in the supply of prohibited substances to two members of the Young Sables squad that participated in the IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy two years ago.

HENRY MHARA

Simbarashe Chirara and Dylan Coetzee were found to have committed anti-doping rule violations after samples they provided prior to the tournament held in Salt Lake City, United States, returned adverse analytical findings for the presence of nandrolone, an anabolic androgenic steroid.

Each of them received two-year bans and both players identified Joubert as their supplier.

Chirara’s ban was later reduced by six months under a provision within IRB regulations.

Joubert’s sanction took effect on December 13 2012 (the date that the union emailed the notice of provisional suspension to the respondent) and is ending on December 12 2018.

In their submissions to the IRB judicial committee which dealt with the case, the two players said they were given the banned substance by Joubert at a local gym. The respondent admitted in a signed statement on September 8 2013, to the IRB that he obtained and used “steroids” and supplied them to Coetzee and Chirara.

Thus, Joubert has been charged in relation to trafficking or attempted trafficking; administration or attempted administration; use or attempted use; and possession of prohibited substances.

Read part of the IRB ruling signed on April 21 and released yesterday: “While the evidence does not go as far as establishing that the respondent’s offences formed part of a doping plan or scheme, his seemingly uninhibited willingness to encourage and fuel the anti-doping rule violations of Chirara and Coetzee contributed to the blighting of the rugby careers and the reputations of two young and promising rugby athletes who were seemingly more naïve and less sophisticated than the respondent (that said, it is not our intention to in any way diminish the personal responsibility of Chirara and Coetzee for their anti-doping rule violations).

“The respondent’s evidence that he was approached by Chirara and Coetzee (which we do not accept) and his failure to fully participate in this process also weigh against him receiving the minimum possible sanction.

There is no place in the game for people who engage in conduct like the respondent. He knowingly cheated by his own use of steroids and facilitated the use of steroids by two of his team-mates who, as a result, received substantial bans. His activities sullied the reputation of his country’s junior rugby programme.”

In his submissions to the IRB, Chirara narrated: “On one of the days of the third week of February 2012, exact date I do not recall, at the Newlands Gym in Harare Zimbabwe, after asking Shane Joubert why he was getting such good gains in the gym, he told me that he was taking some suspension substance and that he could get me some of it as well. The same day, Joubert told me that if I raised $130 he would go get them from his supplier who was in Borrowdale and he also told me to keep this a secret.

“This supplier, he said, was in the business of frequently going to South Africa to get the drugs. At this time, he had not told me the name of the substance he would bring me. The following week, which was the end of February, I managed to raise the money and I gave it to Joubert at the Newlands Gym and he said he would get back to me in a few days.

“In a few days’ time, at the Newlands Gym again, he came back with three sealed Deca Durabolin packets and 20 Proviron tablets. Each packet had a syringe and a Nandrolone Decanoate 100 vial. He told me to inject a vial after every week and to take the Proviron tablets after with the dosage for that being a tablet a day. Joubert then injected me on the buttock in the gym toilet to show me how to do it and told me to do the same for the rest. The Proviron tablets were to be taken orally,” Chirara narrated.
In a statement provided to the IRB, Coetzee said: “The name of the substance is Deca and yes, Shane provided it for me . . . I asked Shane to get me a substance to help me in the gym to recover quickly.
“He got the substance from South Africa from a pharmacy . . . Yes, I paid Joubert . . . ”
The IRB judicial committee consisted of Graeme Mew [Canada, chairman], Dr George Ruijsch van Dugteren [South Africa] and Gregor Nicholson [Scotland].

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