Five Premiership Rugby Players Tested Positive For Recreational Drugs Last Season
Five rugby players at Premiership clubs "tested positive for recreational drugs last season," according to the BBC. In its annual anti-doping report, the Rugby Football Union said the cases would be treated confidentially and punished with a "first-strike fine." The tests came under the RFU's illicit drugs program, "a series of out-of competition tests." In 617 tests for performance-enhancing drugs, "none were failed by Premiership players" (BBC, 10/22). The PA reported it is the first time since the illicit drugs program was introduced for the '09-10 season that "there have been violations of the policy." Four major illicit drug groups are tested -- cocaine, cannabis, ecstasy and amphetamines -- and 83% of samples are hair samples, "which have a three to seven month detection period." Rugby Players' Association Dir David Barnes said, "A small number of adverse findings via the illicit drugs program is a reminder that we can never assume the anti-doping job has been 'done'" (PA, 10/22).