Cape Town - Legendary former Ireland centre Brian O'Driscoll disagrees with his countryman's views that the Springboks' Rugby World Cup win was tarnished over drug abuse.

"I don't think you can point fingers at anyone until individuals have tested positive. It doesn't matter how big players are or how fit they are or what sort of condition they are in, if they did lots of testing the only way of accusing someone is if they fail the test," O'Driscoll said in an interview with the Rugby Pass website.

The former Ireland captain was responding to comments made earlier this month by former Ireland lock Neil Francis, who said an asterisk should be put next to the Springboks' World Cup triumph.

Francis, who played 36 Tests for Ireland between 1987 to 1996, told the Irish Independent that he was "fairly certain" of a "steroid culture" in South Africa after Springbok wing Aphiwe Dyantyi tested positive for "multiple" banned substances earlier this year.

Francis wrote: "How certain are we when we point a finger to suggest there is a steroid culture in a country that has just won the World Cup? Fairly certain.

"Is Dyantyi, a poster boy for the World Cup and winner of World Rugby’s young player of the year (in 2018), the only one? Or the only one to be caught?

"The player in my view will go down but the system stays in place. What were we saying about latitude and dispensation? Do we need to put an asterisk beside the winners of the 2019 World Cup?"

O'Driscoll, who played 133 Tests for Ireland and eight for the British and Irish Lions between 1999 and 2014, said he knew of only two recent instances of doping in South African rugby:

"The two things that I do know about doping in South Africa is Dyantyi. The second thing is the Craven week where five or six players tested positive at an underage tournament which seemed very high compared to rugby around the world."

- Compiled by Herman Mostert