Alan Quinlan believes the temptation to use performance-enhancing drugs has increased in professional rugby in recent years.
The Munster man felt that it was a difficult situation the former Wales coach found himself in and that he also suspects certain current players of doping.
“Obviously, if you’re coaching any team at any level and that situation arises, what do you do? Do you not pick the player based on a suspicion?
“Do you say it to somebody else? Did he alert somebody else? So yeah, it was a really kind of strange one.
“Obviously, he can’t name the player because then you’re in a legal wrangle. I have a hunch of some players in rugby that possibly take [PEDs],” Quinlan said.
While Quinlan was never aware of any doping in his career, he felt that the pressures of modern rugby have increased the likelihood of players turning to drugs.
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“We’re all against drugs in sport so I wouldn’t say I’ve changed my mindset but probably my eyes have been opened a little bit in recent years.
“I think I’ve just realised that the temptation is far greater now because of the financial reward. I’m not saying that my generation is squeaky clean.
“All I ever said in the pieces with Paul [Kimmage] over and back was, ‘I’ve never seen it.’”
The former flanker admitted that it can annoy him when people accuse rugby of being rife with PEDs, but that he understands why the suspicions are there.
“I can sometimes understand why people get angry that everyone will jump on one particular argument saying, ‘There are loads of drugs in rugby.’ The clean ones [get angry].
“I was a clean athlete so that’s where I come defending the sport. But in recent years I just think probably the more I’ve gone out of the game I’ve gone, ‘Hmm yeah, the temptation is getting bigger.’
“The financial reward, the opportunities in the sport and the toll of the sport. So it’s a very dangerous complex situation that needs to probably get better everywhere and have that zero-tolerance policy around it,” Quinlan said.