Mitchell: Rugby free of doping
Sydney - Wallabies wing Drew Mitchell said he was ''confident'' rugby in Australia was free of doping.
Mitchell was responding on Thursday to the findings of the year-long Australian Crime Commission investigation.
''I'd be pretty confident in saying that it's not [going on],'' he said.
''We're pretty close to one another given how much we play together in
the Australian Rugby Union. You see how one another trains and what
supplements one another takes.
''We often room with different players each week on tours so it's pretty
hard to hide things like that. And these are guys at the top end of
each of these state teams so I would be confident in saying that it's
not rearing its head in Australian rugby at the moment.''
ARU chief Bill Pulver said there were no investigations under way in regards to banned substances in rugby.
Pulver said there would be more than 220 drug tests administered this year across the Wallabies, Super Rugby and sevens rugby.
In the past two years, the ARU had prosecuted four cases of breaches of
the anti-doping code but none involved players at the elite level.
A grade footballer on the south coast was one of the most recent cases.
Mitchell Spackman, from Kiama, was banned from the sport for two years
after buying growth hormone-releasing peptide (GHRP-6) online.
The parcel was seized by the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service.
Mitchell said ignorance was no excuse for players.
''It's once guys start reading magazines and find a new product that
might enhance and they go outside the team recommendations and start
doing their own things, that's when it can start getting a little bit
''But we're well-educated in that [area] and ignorance is not
acceptable. Even if [a breach] was by mistake or was just something that
was overlooked, that's not going to rub with [anti-doping agencies] so
it's better off asking [if something is acceptable] or getting it tested
Pulver said there was no room for complacency despite rugby's comparatively clean bill of health.
''ARU condemns the use of performance-enhancing drugs and doping
practices in sport so the implications are that we will be living that
position statement through our support for the government's
initiatives,'' he said.
''Vigilance is the key and this is about making a stand to provide
further detergents and processes to protect the integrity of sport.''