Living with the consequences
If a player or other participant commits an Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV), they will face a suspension from all rugby activity for a duration as set out in the World Anti-Doping Code, and contained in World Rugby Regulation 21. Often people assume that it's just a positive drug test that will result in a sanction but in fact there are a 11 different ways that an ADRV can happen.
The violations are:
- If your sample contains a prohibited substance.
- If you use, or try to use a prohibited substance or method.
- If you evade, refuse or fail to submit to a test.
- If your whereabouts information is false or inaccurate, or if you are repeatedly not present at your stated time(s) and/or location(s).
- If you try to subvert the doping control process with behaviour such as hindering sample collection or falsifying anti-doping documents.
- If you have a prohibited substance or method on your person, and you don’t have a related TUE, or acceptable justification.
- If you traffic/deal (or attempt to traffic/deal) a prohibited substance or method, including supplying to another player.
- If you administer (or attempt to administer) a prohibited substance or method.
- If you encourage or help someone else to dope. This is known as complicity.
- If you associate with someone who you know is serving a doping suspension (or doping-related criminal offence), in a professional or sport-related capacity (eg. receiving training or coaching advice).
- If you discourage someone from reporting doping via threats or intimidation, or if you retaliate against someone who has reported doping.
Sanctions start at four years suspension for positive tests involving doping substances like steroids and hormones (known as 'non-specified substances'), and two years for substances which are more likely to be used unintentionally or which are less likely to give a large performance-enhancing effect (known as 'specified substances'). Substances of abuse (cocaine, cannabis, ecstasy and heroin) carry a starting sanction of 3 months suspension.
Watch the videos below to gain a real-life perspective on how a rule violation has impacted on players' careers and lives.