Zealand great Dan Carter and two other players from French side Racing
92 have been summoned to appear before the French Anti-Doping Agency
(AFLD) over the use of corticosteroids.
Carter, fellow former All Black Joe Rokocoko and Argentinian winger
Juan Imhoff were the target of an investigation by the medical
commission of the French Rugby Federation (FFR) after testing positive
for corticosteroids following last season's domestic Top 14 final.
But the trio, as well as Racing's medical staff, were all cleared of any wrongdoing in October.
The AFLD, however, has summoned the trio to appear at hearings - the dates of which are yet to be unveiled.
AFLD president Bruno Genevois told AFP that the dossier would be
reviewed for a "possible revision of the decision" made by the FFR's
Newly-installed FFR president Bernard Laporte, the former Toulon and
France coach, played down the significance of the summons, saying it was
"not a disavowal".
"It's not because they think there's a fault. On the contrary, the more transparency there is, the better."
"They're doing their job, they have the right to check. You can't be
scared of that. At Toulon, we were tested six times in one year.
"We have nothing to hide. They'll get to the bottom of things.
"They want to delve deeper, end of story. If they do it, it's because they have their reason."
French television channel Canal+ claimed Carter's corticosteroid
readings after the June 2016 final showed 81 nanogrammes per millilitre,
with 49 for Rokocoko and 31 for Imhoff, while the World Anti-Doping
Agency (WADA) has set a limit of 30.
Corticosteroids can be used to combat pain, inflammation or allergies.
They can be taken legally or illegally, depending on the method of ingestion.
It is illegal to take corticosteroids orally or have them injected in
either the blood or muscle, but they can be injected into joints or
Even if taken in a banned manner, athletes can gain permission to do
so by applying for the controversial Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE).
After being cleared by the FFR, Carter and his two clubmates were
said to be taking their case to the public prosecutor after confidential
medical records were made public by media.
Racing said the trio had received "totally justified medical treatment dispensed conforming to the rules".