Cape Town - World Rugby has announced details of its targeted pre-Olympic Games Sevens anti-doping testing and education programme, the most scientific and comprehensive pre-event programme ever operated in the sport.
Operational since January 1, the extensive programme is in addition to World Rugby's annual testing and education regime and has been run in consultation with national and regional Anti-Doping organisations (NADOs and RADOs) operating across 22 nations and the IOC/WADA Pre-Olympic Games task force.
The programme has captured all Olympic players from qualified nations as well as players from teams still in the qualification hunt during that period. It comprised a total of 1 289 samples across the period with 83 percent of tests conducted out of competition.
On average, each player who has made it to Rio was tested 2.3 times. This is in addition to testing programmes run by NADOs as part of their own pre-Games programmes.
In total, 70 percent of controls were urine and 17 percent of controls were for blood within a programme that included additional analysis of samples for Erythropoiesis Stimulating Agents (ESA), such as EPO, as well as for growth hormone (growth hormone releasing factors (GHRF) or human growth hormone (HGH)).
The remaining 13 percent were Athlete Biological Passport (ABP) haematological module samples. All urine samples were analysed as steroidal module ABP samples.
- Intelligent, risk-based programme combining testing and education
- Every player selected for Rio tested at least once
- Players selected for Rio tested on average 2.3 times during the period
- 1 289 in and out-of-competition tests conducted across long and short-listed players during the period
- Tests undertaken across 22 nations
- 83 percent of long-list tests collected out of competition
- 30 percent of total tests were blood samples
- 65 percent of all long-list samples collected were subjected to additional analysis for either erythropoiesis stimulating agents (ESA), such as EPO, or human growth hormone
- Keep Rugby Clean education delivered to players and team personnel
- Strategic long-term storage of samples to allow for future re-analysis
All samples have been stored to enable future analysis and to date, there have been two recorded adverse analytical findings during the period which were announced earlier this year. Both players were Russian and both tested positive for melondium but were subsequently cleared to play following their respective hearings in line with WADA's notice regarding that substance. All tests on Russian players were collected and analysed outside of Russia.
During the period, all players have supported World Rugby's Keep Rugby Clean educational programme, completing e-learning modules and assisting World Rugby promote the initiative, which has delivered education to more than 15 000 players at World Rugby events including the men's and women's World Rugby Sevens Series and Olympic Games repechage events.