Does English rugby have a drug problem ?

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Does English rugby have a drug problem ?  Empty Does English rugby have a drug problem ?

Post by LordDowlais on Thu Apr 25, 2019 9:55 am

Or is it just something that has been blown out of proportion ?

News reports are saying that 4 players have tested positive for recreational drugs, but these players were on the peripheral of their teams, but this does take me back to when Matt Stevens was banned, and even further back when Lawrence Dallaglio was banned. Anyway, this is being reported on the BBC Sport website.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/48025816


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Post by Rinsure on Thu Apr 25, 2019 10:02 am

It's recreational drugs though, rather than PEDs. Unfortunately, it's a reflection of societal habits, and for any given sample size there are likely to be people using cocaine (which I think is the case in this report).

Yes, they should know better. Yes, it's a poor reflection on their professionalism and unfortunately on the game.

Is it an endemic issue within the game? No.

Now, PED / steroid use, that's a different question. I've read anecdotal reports suggesting the use is rife - not necessarily at the top level, but certainly young players bulking up, and other players looking for an "edge".

The BBC article talks about the level of testing being such that a Premiership player can go a full season without being tested (although obviously players don't know if it will be them). Perhaps the RFU could invest some of the recent CVC ££ into more frequent testing?

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Post by BamBam on Thu Apr 25, 2019 10:09 am

Assume the average squad size is around 45, 12 teams makes that around 540 players

If 0.7% of players have tested positive for cocaine, is that really worthy of being described as a problem? Given the age profile of the majority of players, I'm surprised its only 4, I'd wager that there are many more who use cocaine who have avoided being caught


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Post by LondonTiger on Thu Apr 25, 2019 10:19 am

The RFU administers these additional drug tests over and above their commitment to WR and WADA. It is good that people are getting caught, whether recreational or PED, as if no-one is caught the assumption is they are managing to game the system.

These particular tests are a sign of the issue with cocaine use within society, is not specific to Rugby or to England. RFU does far more testing than any other union in NH, thus you would expect more to be found. 

My biggest fear is the use of steroids among aspiring players. England, Scotland and Wales have all had players caught for steroids in recent years (usually below the top level or age group), while unofficial tests on schools rugby in SA found steroid use to be almost pandemic.

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Post by maestegmafia on Thu Apr 25, 2019 10:21 am

It amazes me to think that anyone with aspirations in elite sport would be so stupid as to take a narcotic that is so incredibly detrimental to their health and prospects of succeeding in their sport of choice.


Last edited by maestegmafia on Fri Apr 26, 2019 12:05 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by LondonTiger on Thu Apr 25, 2019 10:28 am

Current Banned Athletes list from UKAD:

https://ukad.org.uk/anti-doping-rule-violations/current-violations/



I make that 66 athletes of which 23 are from Rugby Union (13 RFU, 8 WRU, 2 SRU)

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Post by bluestonevedder on Thu Apr 25, 2019 10:32 am

BamBam wrote:Assume the average squad size is around 45, 12 teams makes that around 540 players

If 0.7% of players have tested positive for cocaine, is that really worthy of being described as a problem? Given the age profile of the majority of players, I'm surprised its only 4, I'd wager that there are many more who use cocaine who have avoided being caught


Exactly, and my opinion on the matter entirely. It really is a non-news story and just sensationalist media. To be honest given the age bracket of squads, I reckon this is far below the national average, so on the flip side is this a positive story??

I doubt the frequency is substantially different from any other league to be honest. I'd be interested to see results from other governing bodies.

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Post by LondonTiger on Thu Apr 25, 2019 10:38 am

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/jan/30/the-white-stuff-why-britain-cant-get-enough-cocaine



In the UK in 2017-2018, 2.6% of people aged 16-59 took powdered cocaine (as opposed to crack cocaine, the more potent variant of the drug, which was taken by 0.1% of the population in the same period), up from 2.4% in 2013-2014, according to Home Office figures.

More young people are taking cocaine than ever before: 6% of 16- to 24-year-olds have tried it, despite the fact that, overall, fewer young people take drugs in general. It is also likely that Home Office figures, which often exclude students, prisoners and homeless people, underestimate cocaine use because those groups typically have above-average illegal drug use.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu Apr 25, 2019 11:17 am

General issue isn't it. Not so long ago I'm sure there was a similar article on Wales. Personally I'm surprised there aren't more drug fails for peds across rugby, football etc. The cynic in me thinks that cycling gets so much stick because their drug testing seems to be so far ahead that their brand is damaged. I've had enough posts removed lately though to go any further on that!

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Post by miaow on Thu Apr 25, 2019 11:55 am

It has more of a PED problem than a cocaine problem.

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Post by Gooseberry on Thu Apr 25, 2019 11:58 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:General issue isn't it. Not so long ago I'm sure there was a similar article on Wales. Personally I'm surprised there aren't more drug fails for peds across rugby, football etc. The cynic in me thinks that cycling gets so much stick because their drug testing seems to be so far ahead that their brand is damaged. I've had enough posts removed lately though to go any further on that!

The article regarding Wales was about endemic use of banned PEDS at the upper amateur and semi pro level.

This very specifically is about the widespread use of recreational drugs, and in particular cocaine amongst young people in general and increasingly pro sports people who tend to have access to a lot of cash, spare time and good looking women to show off to. really its nothing new as we know form LOL and Stevens in particular. Ive never witnessed it but been told by people who at the time were close to a number of players a decade or so back that it was common in the off season for many to be quite openly taking large amounts of coke at parties.

In both cases I dont its at all confined to one side of the border or the other, its just where the studies were done. We certainly know that there are issues in France.

In terms of testing its much harder to mask and test for recreational drug use than it is many PEDs due to how it stays in your system. I guess its also part of the way habitual use and addiction functions that players tend to be more stupid and take more risks in getting caught out when snorting bucketloads of white powders vs injecting a bit of growth hormone in the summer.

How much of a problem is it? Without getting into the deeper morals is it that different to when players normalised drinking themselves unconscious the day before game to manage pain and be a lad? Certainly we here of more alcohol fuelled incidents than we do illegal drug ones involving England players (although would anyone be shocked to find out a certain fly half had been dabbling in powders his whole life?)

Anyway yeah support for those who are in danger of addiction. General frowning on it. Change the culture to stop encouraging players to feel the need to be at the clubs showing off in their spare time. But focus the testing, disciplinaries and education on the abuse of dangerous PEDs.

e

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Post by tigertattie on Thu Apr 25, 2019 12:05 pm

LondonTiger wrote:Current Banned Athletes list from UKAD:

https://ukad.org.uk/anti-doping-rule-violations/current-violations/



I make that 66 athletes of which 23 are from Rugby Union (13 RFU, 8 WRU, 2 SRU)

1 from darts???

Do you need to take roids and hit the gym hard to be a successful darts player?
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Post by BamBam on Thu Apr 25, 2019 12:07 pm

tigertattie wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:Current Banned Athletes list from UKAD:

https://ukad.org.uk/anti-doping-rule-violations/current-violations/



I make that 66 athletes of which 23 are from Rugby Union (13 RFU, 8 WRU, 2 SRU)

1 from darts???

Do you need to take roids and hit the gym hard to be a successful darts player?

Something to slow the heart rate and be able to throw with more accuracy?

Completely based on my experience of games that require shooting on the PS4 obviously

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Post by yappysnap on Fri Apr 26, 2019 8:05 pm

What you take PEDS and then play call of duty bambam?? That seems extreme...

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Post by LondonTiger on Sat Apr 27, 2019 9:13 am

yappysnap wrote:What you take PEDS and then play call of duty bambam?? That seems extreme...

Have you seen how much money the top egamers make, either in competitions or from streaming?

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Post by The Beast on Sat Apr 27, 2019 10:39 am

As a Rugby League fan (who also enjoys Union*) I think the story is missing a big point. I have no idea if or how cocaine affects performance however to the best of my knowledge right or wrong it on the banned list.

What I don't understand is how RL bans some players for 14 months (Zak Hardaker) or 20 months (Adam Walker) but now RU are banning a player (Jake Pope) for 6 months, following a second failed test having kept the first test private!!

I am going completely insane or should all sports (RL, RU, Darts, Cricket whatever) have the same rules? Can it be that difficult to agree? Any thoughts?

* I live in Leicestershire, hope the Tigers get back to their best asap,spent plenty of time at Welford Road in my teens fantastic club and fans.

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Post by carpet baboon on Sat Apr 27, 2019 10:44 am

LondonTiger wrote:
yappysnap wrote:What you take PEDS and then play call of duty bambam?? That seems extreme...

Have you seen how much money the top egamers make, either in competitions or from streaming?

Didn't I read they they are introducing drug testing at major ESports events?

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Post by BamBam on Sat Apr 27, 2019 10:49 am

yappysnap wrote:What you take PEDS and then play call of duty bambam?? That seems extreme...
Laugh no, it's often a power up for the characters in the game though!!

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Post by LondonTiger on Sat Apr 27, 2019 12:01 pm

carpet baboon wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:
yappysnap wrote:What you take PEDS and then play call of duty bambam?? That seems extreme...

Have you seen how much money the top egamers make, either in competitions or from streaming?

Didn't I read they they are introducing drug testing at major ESports events?
Yeah I think they have.

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Post by king_carlos on Sat Apr 27, 2019 7:27 pm

LondonTiger wrote:
carpet baboon wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:
yappysnap wrote:What you take PEDS and then play call of duty bambam?? That seems extreme...

Have you seen how much money the top egamers make, either in competitions or from streaming?

Didn't I read they they are introducing drug testing at major ESports events?
Yeah I think they have.
Universities have a growing problem with study drugs such as Modafinil that often purport to increase attention span. It wouldn't be at all surprising if the same are rife in eSports.

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Post by miaow on Sat Apr 27, 2019 7:46 pm

Those study drugs do next to nothing. They have as many negatives as positives. It's very much a media story they love to run every few years.

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Post by king_carlos on Sat Apr 27, 2019 9:10 pm

miaow wrote:Those study drugs do next to nothing. They have as many negatives as positives. It's very much a media story they love to run every few years.
Drugs intended to treat sleep disorders that are commonly used as study drugs aren't proven to aid students beyond helping them stay awake longer to study - unsurprisingly. 

Drugs such as ritalin and adderall that are used to treat ADHD have shown positive influence on attention span and working memory in adults. 

Either way there are plenty of students taking them.

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Post by Pie on Sun Apr 28, 2019 12:44 am

I expect its drug problem is a reflection of society's

And I expect it has a significant yet undiscovered problem with steroids but that is probably true across world rugby by now

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Post by Taylorman on Sun Apr 28, 2019 3:07 am

maestegmafia wrote:It amazes me to think that anyone with aspirations in elite sport would be so stupid as to take a narcotic that is so incredibly detrimental to their health and prospects of succeeding in their sport of choice.

Aah, add to that, career and family choice...

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Post by SecretFly on Sun May 05, 2019 10:34 am

They can take all the weed and cocaine they like. If they want to be seeing double when playing or think they 're playing against green elephants with wings on their backs and ballet shoes on their feet, then so be it. Let them have the trips as other players play the game.
I think it's forever a distraction act to find these players when maybe other more user friendly performance enhancement 'drugs'/ activities are being hidden from view. Always have a few dumb patsies ready and waiting to be thrown to the wolves to deflect from the more concealed stuff.
I continue to believe some version of blood doping is happening somewheres in amongst the best sides in the world - and I don't know if authorities are turning a blind eye to save the 'IMAGE' of a sport trying to grow a global platform with serious investors prowling around the edges; I don't know, whether they are being duped by new methods as yet to be exposed, and I don't know if all this high jinx endless energy power and speed game is being tolerated/actively facilitated in order to actually increase that Investor interest that is eyeing up rugby more and more.
But I do not believe some 'always on tap' performance rates of high stamina, high speed, high acuracy, no sweat perfection through 80 minutes and full seasons are all down to good gym work and nice diets. I don't believe a word of it. So I sit by and wait...trying to enjoy the rugby as much as I can but hoping rugby's Tour de France moment hits with perhaps some honest hombres coming to the surface to expose a truth or two.

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Post by Poorfour on Sun May 05, 2019 11:57 am

The Beast wrote:As a Rugby League fan (who also enjoys Union*) I think the story is missing a big point.  I have no idea if or how cocaine affects performance however to the best of my knowledge right or wrong it on the banned list.

What I don't understand is how RL bans some players for 14 months (Zak Hardaker) or 20 months (Adam Walker) but now RU are banning a player (Jake Pope) for 6 months, following a second failed test having kept the first test private!!

I am going completely insane or should all sports (RL, RU, Darts, Cricket whatever) have the same rules?  Can it be that difficult to agree? Any thoughts?

* I live in Leicestershire, hope the Tigers get back to their best asap,spent plenty of time at Welford Road in my teens fantastic club and fans.

As I understand it, all sports sign up to the WADA standards, and some then apply tougher standards on top of that. The RFU has a rehabilitation based approach, where bans for non-PEDs are treated more as a health issue and so the bans are relatively lenient as long as the player signs up for treatment. I don’t know what the RFL approach is.

Overall, the RFU, WRU and RFL all have a total number of bans in the mid-20s. Given the relative sizes of the player bases, I would imagine that’s more of a concern for the WRU and RFL than the RFU, but not by much.
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