London - English Rugby Union bosses say the sport's most recent
anti-doping statistics prove the game is clean after only four positive
tests were found last season.
In total 1 001 Tests were taken,
which represents a significant rise in the number of blood and urine
samples at all levels of the game - 282 more than in 2014-15 and almost
double the figure from 2013-14.
Most of this increase came at the
elite end of the game - England's international players were tested 360
times last term, up from 135 a season before - because of the Rugby
World Cup in 2015 and build-up to last year's Olympic Games.
the foreword of the Rugby Football Union's annual anti-doping report,
the Rugby Players' Association director Richard Bryan wrote: "Given the
impact of doping on the wider sporting landscape, it is reassuring to
see another season concluded with no indication of systemic doping or
illicit drug use among the elite player population in England."
Nigel Melville, the RFU's professional rugby director and chair of the
anti-doping advisory group, wrote: "A clean sport is one which can
thrive and grow, and one which will encourage the next generation of
players to pick up a ball and play.
"Since taking over the
professional rugby department I have been impressed by the genuine
desire of all in the game to keep it doping-free."