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‘It was an ill-advised picture’ | Gregor Paul on shredded Springboks

Eoin Harte
Eoin Harte

12:20 19 Sep 2019

New Zealand Herald journalist Gregor Paul was on Thursday’s OTB AM and spoke about the topless Springboks squad photograph that emerged recently.

The picture was posted on social media shortly after South Africa winger Aphiwe Dyantyi tested positive for Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs).

While Paul in no way insinuated that the Springboks players featured in the photograph are also using PEDs, he did question its timing.

“It was an ill-advised picture. I know they probably didn’t put two and two together because you don’t.

“But everyone looking at that is drawing conclusions and drawing dots and going, ‘Wow. What’s going on over there?’

“And that’s probably not fair… but it was an ill-advised quirk of timing that has left a few questions being asked in New Zealand,” Paul commented.

The Springboks and the All Blacks come up against each other in a titanic pool match this Saturday at 10.45am Irish time. Paul believes that talk of doping will die down after the game.

“I wouldn’t worry about it too much. The proof of the pudding is always in the eating. It doesn’t matter what’s been going on, not that anything has.

“But we’ll find out how fit the South Africans are on Saturday because it’s hot, humid and the All Blacks will want to play at a cracking pace.

“If they’re ultimately not that successful this weekend I don’t know if it’ll be a story that will gather at pace at that point,” Paul said.

The Scottish-born journalist was looking forward to seeing the two sides face-off in what is the next chapter of the two nations long history together.

“Well, I think there’s enormous respect between the two nations and particularly the two rugby teams.

“They get on well and they love playing against each other, it’s ferocious when they do,” Paul said.

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