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World Rugby Chief Executive Brett Gosper has insisted there is no systematic doping problem in the game.

Gosper has been speaking at the Rugby World Cup launch defending the drug-testing regime of the organisation.

“First of all, we invest vast sums of money in a very meticulous drug-testing programme in terms of testing via passports,” said Gosper.

“We’ve been testing the players at this World Cup for the last four years and haven’t stopped, mainly out-of-competition, where you’re more likely to catch offenders.

“Our belief is that we do not have a systematic or institutional doping problem at the elite level of rugby.

“We’ve seen some evidence in the community, reflecting community desires to be looking good and fit and all the rest of it – not necessarily a rugby thing.

“But at the elite level, we’re not seeing that issue. We still believe rugby is a sport for all shapes and sizes, though they’re more fit shapes and sizes than back in the day.

Changes

Gosper says the upcoming law changes should take the focus away from size and brute strength associated with systematic doping.

“We have also generated some pretty innovative law changes around player welfare designed to open up some space in the game, to take some of the brute strength elements out of it to try and progress in those areas. We’ll see how those trials go.

“Short answer, in the elite game there are exceptional findings occasionally but no systemic problem. We’re very confident in our drug-testing programme.”

On the back of upcoming SouthAfrican star  and 2018 World Rugby ‘breakthrough player of the year’ Aphiwe Dyantyi failing a drugs test, questions have been asked of South Africa in particular.

There was also speculation about the shape of the players after a photo was widely shared on social media.

Gosper was adamant there is no systematic doping within the sport.

"Our belief is that we do not have a systematic or institutional doping problem at the elite level of rugby. We've seen some evidence in the community, reflecting community desires to be looking good and fit and all the rest of it - not necessarily a rugby thing.

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Brett Gosper Doping Rugby World Cup South Africa

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