World Rugby successfully launched the #BeYourself campaign at the recent Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018 in San Francisco.

The campaign saw participating teams support the player-focused initiative that promotes positive engagement in clean rugby and inspired participants to share the ethos of clean sport using #BeYourself on their respective social media channels.

Alongside the #BeYourself social media campaign, players completed an online e-learning anti-doping module which forms a key part of Keep Rugby Clean’s ongoing playereducation programme. Players also received a ‘Be Yourself’ gift pack and were encouraged to attend the #BeYourself outreach station to collect a branded training vest to wear in support of the campaign.

World Rugby Anti-Doping Manager Mike Earl said: “We were delighted at the level of support shown for the recently launched #BeYourself initiative at Rugby World Cup Sevens. It was fantastic to see players championing the ethos of clean sport across social media, enjoying the bespoke #BeYourself recreation area within the team hotel while also embracing the latest e-learning module ahead of the tournament starting.”

#BeYourself forms a part of the overarching Keep Rugby Clean programme, which is run in partnership with national member unions, national anti-doping agencies and the World Anti-Doping Agency, and is one of international sport’s best recognised and highest profile integrity brands.

The most scientific and extensive pre-event anti-doping programme for a Rugby World Cup Sevens has been undertaken on the road to San Francisco 2018 with around 1,500 samples taken from the world’s top sevens players since July 2017.

The intelligent, risk-based programme is in addition to World Rugby’s annual testing programme and has been run in collaboration with unions, national and regional anti-doping agencies, capturing players from all participating teams.

More than 70 per cent of samples were collected out of competition and included additional analysis of samples for Erythropoiesis Stimulating Agents (ESA), such as EPO, as well as for growth hormones.

The annual HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series is protected by a comprehensive risk and intelligence-led in and out of competition testing programme which focuses on participating players and ensures a level playing field. This combined with a pre-event and event testing programme conducted on all teams at the Rugby World Cup Sevens ensures that the sevens game is subjected to an extensive level of testing.

The #BeYourself campaign will continue to be rolled out across World Rugby and member union events in the coming months to ensure that all players, at all levels of the sport can take ownership of a positive message that enforces the ethos of clean sport within the game.