Reaffirming its commitment to maintaining a level playing field, World Rugby has announced details of an additional 27 per cent increase in anti-doping education, testing and research funding over the next four years.
Year on year, World Rugby has delivered record education and delivery of intelligence programmes and with the sport experiencing unprecedented global growth and participation having doubled over the last eight years, the record investment injection will underwrite expanded education and prevention programmes as well as intelligent testing.
World Rugby Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: “World Rugby is a committed and active federation in the fight against doping in sport and while we do not believe that there is a culture of systematic doping in rugby, we are not complacent.
“With participation levels increasing at record rates, this record anti-doping investment represents a proactive and pragmatic approach to futureproof our sport and ensure a level playing field. The programme will primarily focus on the intelligence-based testing that underpins our biological passport programme and increased face-to-face and online education across multiple languages.”
World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Director General David Howman said: “Intelligent testing and preventative education form the backbone of the enhanced World Anti-Doping Code, which came into effect at the start of this year.
“By increasing its investment in anti-doping, World Rugby is proving itself to be a dedicated partner, committed to allowing clean sport to prevail and the rights of clean athletes to be upheld. World Rugby’s renewed focus on intelligent testing and education is particularly important as the eyes of the sporting world turn to England this September for the Rugby World Cup.”
World Rugby delivered interactive Keep Rugby Clean education to more than 7,000 elite players in 2014 across the spectrum of age grade and full international sevens and 15s competitions and Rugby World Cup 2015 will provide a further platform to promote.
Lapasset added: “The Rugby World Cup 2015 Keep Rugby Clean day on 26 September will see players and coaches from all the participating teams unite in support of our campaign to educate and inform players at all levels of the sport that there are no shortcuts and success can be achieved on dedication and a balanced diet.”
World Rugby Anti-Doping Manager for Testing and Education Ilaria Baudo added: "World Rugby is committed to anti-doping education and we take our role very seriously to ensure that players at all levels of the game understand the consequences of doping, and how to maintain a healthy and clean approach to sports nutrition.
"Our value-based education programme is highly interactive and is designed to engage and educate young players and their entourage at all levels of the game and we are delighted with the response that we receive from players and our unions alike."
World Rugby recently devoted more resources for anti-doping with the important appointment of a Science and Intelligence Officer, further strengthening the governing body as it addresses this vitally important area. For more information of World Rugby’s anti-doping programmes and to undertake Keep Rugby Clean education, visit www.keeprugbyclean.worldrugby.org.