Wellington - Jonah Lomu's former doctor on
Tuesday dismissed speculation from an ex-teammate linking the rugby legend's
shock death last year to the dietary supplement creatine.
Ex-All Black Joeli Vidiri told Britain's
Daily Telegraph that he and Lomu took creatine while they were playing Super
Rugby with the Auckland Blues in the 1990s.
Both developed the rare kidney disease
nephrotic syndrome and Vidiri said "it does make you wonder" about
use of the substance.
Creatine is a legal amino acid supplement
marketed as boosting muscle mass and energy.
The University of Maryland Medical Centre says
that in high doses it has the potential for serious side effects, including
However, former All Blacks medic John
Mayhew said Lomu's renal problems had been diagnosed during the period Vidiri
was referring to and there was no evidence the player took creatine.
"Jonah was under pretty strict
instructions from myself and from his renal specialists not to take this,"
Mayhew told TVNZ.
"At the time, we went through the
drugs that Jonah couldn't take, that people with renal conditions had to
Mayhew, a close family friend who announced
the star's death to the world last November, said the kidney condition cut
short Lomu's career probably began before he ever picked up a rugby ball.
"We believe that Jonah's renal
condition came from his childhood and pre-dated his rugby involvement," he
Lomu died unexpectedly at his Auckland home
in November after returning from seeing his beloved All Blacks win the World
Mayhew said at the time the 40-year-old
probably died from a blood clot that formed in his lungs during a long-haul
flight, a scenario the kidney disease would have made more likely.
The death of a player seen as rugby's first
global superstar prompted tributes from not only within the game but also
Hollywood celebrities, charities and Britain's Queen Elizabeth II.