Spreading the Keep Rugby Clean message

(IRB.COM) Sunday 13 June 2010
 Spreading the Keep Rugby Clean message
Argentina captain Alan Kessen and his teammates take part in the programme - Photo: Martin Seras Lima/IRB.

The Keep Rugby Clean message will be driven home on Sunday at the IRB Junior World Championship 2010 in Argentina when players, officials, tournament staff and administrators wear branded t-shirts to show their support for the IRB campaign.

The third round of pool matches doubles as "Keep Rugby Clean Day" at the Junior World Championship, an initiative that was implemented at International Rugby Board Age Grade tournaments to raise awareness of drugs and their impact.

Players from the 12 teams participating all received educational material in their own language prior to leaving for Argentina and once in South America each squad took part in a session with IRB Anti-Doping Co-ordinator Ilaria Baudo.

Among the topics covered in these sessions were the use of social drugs, the sample collection procedure, the dangers of nutritional supplements and information on therapeutic use exemptions.

Players were then required to complete the Real Winner programme, which can be found on the IRB's Keep Rugby Clean website, and then the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) quiz with a minimum of eight out of 10 correct answers needed to get the Keep Rugby Clean t-shirt.

"This year the players have been much more involved in the sessions and seemed to respond well to the more interactive format, asking plenty of questions and they seemed to get a lot out of the programme," revealed Baudo.

The Keep Rugby Clean campaign has the support of a number of key international players, including IRB Anti-Doping Ambassadors Felipe Contepomi of Argentina, France's Vincent Clerc, Uale Mai of Samoa, Wales' James Hook, George Smith of Australia and South Africa's former IRB Player of the Year Bryan Habana.

The IRB's Anti-Doping Programme started in 2002 and since then approximately 7,003 players have received anti-doping education at IRB Age Grade tournaments.

The IRB has conducted a total of 1,861 tests in relation to its Age Grade Championships since 2002, including both In and Out of Competition, which to date has resulted in a total of six anti-doping rule violations.