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Elton Jantjies Receives Four Year Ban for Doping

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Post by doctor_grey Thu 18 Jan 2024, 4:16 pm

Just saw this on the Beeb.  Just recently I was notified there would be a yet-to-be-named player to receive a huge suspension for doping, so assuming this is it. Clenbuterol, an asthma medication which can also can raise body temperature to stimulate weight loss.  If Rugby is serious about preventing/minimising doping, the four year ban is the way to do it.  That said, he can't be the only one in Rugby taking the risk to dope up.  

Unquestionably, there will be a lot more to follow.  Such a shame.

https://www.bbc.com/sport/rugby-union/68019295

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Post by mountain man Thu 18 Jan 2024, 4:29 pm

Well in the Olympics if a member of a sprint team say is subsequently found to have doped the entire team forfeit medals.

I say England won 2019 RWC after all...

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Post by neilthom7 Thu 18 Jan 2024, 7:59 pm

mountain man wrote:Well in the Olympics if a member of a sprint team say is subsequently found to have doped the entire team forfeit medals.

I say England won 2019 RWC after all...

There would maybe be a better argument here if Jantjies had actually been involved in 2019 final lol but who am I to deny someone their dream lol I'd say do it just to see the video Rassie puts out lol

On a more serious note it is dissapointing to see doping but not exactly shocking, while there haven't been many cases of people getting caught doping in rugby I'd be fairly surprised if it isn't something that is happening a lot more than we know about.

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Post by mikey_dragon Thu 18 Jan 2024, 8:07 pm

Another South African caught out Wink. Wonder what will become of the investigation with Webb now.

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Post by doctor_grey Fri 19 Jan 2024, 12:17 am

neilthom7 wrote:
mountain man wrote:Well in the Olympics if a member of a sprint team say is subsequently found to have doped the entire team forfeit medals.

I say England won 2019 RWC after all...

There would maybe be a better argument here if Jantjies had actually been involved in 2019 final lol but who am I to deny someone their dream lol I'd say do it just to see the video Rassie puts out lol

On a more serious note it is dissapointing to see doping but not exactly shocking, while there haven't been many cases of people getting caught doping in rugby I'd be fairly surprised if it isn't something that is happening a lot more than we know about.
Sure is.  Without a doubt.  

There are people in every sport doping and a subset of that group is getting caught.  I doubt Rugby has doping numbers like Cycling or Weightlifting, for instance.  But we are past the days when the primary steroid which was abused was stanozolol and there is a pretty long list.  And not sure if the testing frequency in each country or league is the same.

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Post by Collapse2005 Fri 19 Jan 2024, 12:11 pm

I'm sure doping is a bigger issue in the likes of cycling, running and weigh lifting. Mo Farrah, Bradley Wiggans and Linford Christie are all still very popular in Britain despite being clearly dodgy. Its highly probably they are all drugs cheats.

It has been a really bad few years for Jantjies to say the least.

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Post by doctor_grey Fri 19 Jan 2024, 12:43 pm

Outside of doping being straight-up cheating, it can cause significant health risks, especially later in life.  I guess when an athlete is young their world is the game and their teams.  And that leads to some really bad decisions. Sometimes I really think pushing a kid into a sport progression can be really bad. Closes or narrows their perspective and view of life. And the more talented kids get a bit more coddled.

A guy who lives in my town played offensive line in the NFL about 20 years ago. He said the PEDs were much more common in the NFL then. He credits being what the Americans call an Army brat (son or daughter of someone in the Army and raised in that environment) and the discipline and values it instilled in him to keep him clean. He is an attorney now. And also works with young athletes to help them keep clean and lead better lives. Hell of a person.

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Post by mountain man Fri 19 Jan 2024, 1:01 pm

Only need to see how many body builders die young to see how they shorten life span, usually heart attacks. They of course bulk up to extreme and then diet down, get dehydrated for competitive condition etc which only puts even greater stress on body.
Rugby, NFL etc don't go to such extremes but health risk still there.

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Post by dummy_half Mon 22 Jan 2024, 10:11 am

mountain man wrote:Only need to see how many body builders die young to see how they shorten life span, usually heart attacks. They of course bulk up to extreme and then diet down, get dehydrated for competitive condition etc which only puts even greater stress on body.
Rugby, NFL etc don't go to such extremes but health risk still there.

Similarly, pro cyclists commonly die pretty young, which is likely some combination of doping and the extreme stress put on the body during competition. I suspect the current generation, who live with extremely low body fat through the competitive season and focus significantly on keeping weight down, are likely to have even more stressed physiology than the riders of 20 years ago who doped more heavily (not suggesting cycling is clean now, but the bio passport system limits how far it is possible to push doping.)

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Post by king_carlos Tue 23 Jan 2024, 3:04 pm

There's a definite feeling of sacrificial lambs when a player such as Elton Jantjies get popped. Very similar with Rhys Webb. High enough profile that people go, "Hey, I know that name!", but not actually a high profile player anymore so the teams/boards involved won't be inconvenienced. It's a common thing in athletics, weightlifting, etc for former big names to test positive once their star has burnt out. Big enough to make it look like anti doping is doing much. Not big enough anymore to adversely effect the sport that much. Then overall numbers often get padded with a curious number of positive tests from poorer sporting nations.

A look through the World Rugby and WADA reports is almost hilarious in that regard. The WADA report from 2021 (last out) shows 4,415 tests done in rugby union - XVs and Sevens. 25 adverse analytical findings. Less than 10 of those ended in bans. The World Rugby page shows an almost self satirising list of bans for Russians, Colombians, Venezuelans, Uruguayans, Namibians.

https://www.world.rugby/keep-rugby-clean/cases-and-reports/doping-cases

The annual reports going back to 2021 are there too. Testing numbers are a joke and the findings even more absurd. Basically, if you're from an 'rugby country' that rugby gives the slightest f**k about you are astonishingly unlikely to test positive. Testing numbers would suggest that either the Romanian and Namibian U20 setups have invested heavily in PEDs that professional setups curiously haven't bothered with. Or... Anti doping is an incredibly corrupt and the system is built to make it easy for players from the bigger countries to never p*ss hot.

I'm not one of those fans who thinks all players to the RWC are throwing back tren together after the game. I'd be astonished if the majority of the players at the RWC had never run a cycle though. The advantages are too huge and the risks are low.

The whispers of the big rugby schools outside of SA developing similar practice have been swirling for a while now. Those prestigious schools that pump out pro players in England, NZ and Ireland are also rumoured to be absolutely rife with PEDs at a young age now.

At the end of the day, administrators don't want sport to be clean. They want it to appear clean. That doesn't come through lots of positive tests. It comes through having just barely enough positive tests that when people try to point out the glaring holes in the system, that Bill Beaumont can go, "What about Rhys Webb and Elton Jantjies?", and casual fans go, "Aye, fair point", and everyone moves on.

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Post by mountain man Tue 23 Jan 2024, 3:51 pm

dummy_half wrote:
mountain man wrote:Only need to see how many body builders die young to see how they shorten life span, usually heart attacks. They of course bulk up to extreme and then diet down, get dehydrated for competitive condition etc which only puts even greater stress on body.
Rugby, NFL etc don't go to such extremes but health risk still there.

Similarly, pro cyclists commonly die pretty young, which is likely some combination of doping and the extreme stress put on the body during competition. I suspect the current generation, who live with extremely low body fat through the competitive season and focus significantly on keeping weight down, are likely to have even more stressed physiology than the riders of 20 years ago who doped more heavily (not suggesting cycling is clean now, but the bio passport system limits how far it is possible to push doping.)

I'm into cycling so follow the pro events etc. No question doping still goes on but they are tested so much more these days that although some are taking PEDS I doubt a lot are.
My example of bodybuilding was just to illustrate the danger of taking steroids, most cyclists want to shed weight not increase muscle mass. Cyclists use likes of EPO to increase red blood cells to increse oxygen intake to blood so yes although the PEDS cyclists use can be detrimental to health I don't think as bad as heavy steroid use.

Anyway, think we all agree any use of PEDS is unhealthy, dangerous and apart from anything else cheating.

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Post by dummy_half Tue 23 Jan 2024, 3:54 pm

KC
Quite cynical, but also reasonably believable.
I suspect there isn't MUCH doping in top level rugby during the season. I don't think oxygen vector doping (EPO or blood doping) offers a big enough advantage for the risk-reward equation to be pro its use. Steroid or HGH is probably more prevalent amongst either youth players wanting to get big (which marries up with your comment about schools) or during the off season for the pros.

The doping positives of former big names may be from the corruption of the process or may be that they are more likely to dope to extend careers (certainly has been the case in cycling, that somewhat past their best riders have been prepared to take more chances to extend their time ni the peloton).

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Post by nlpnlp Wed 24 Jan 2024, 5:03 pm

I don't think it is the in season doping by top level professional players which is the major area of concern.

You just need to look at the number of positive drugs tests which have arisen in the South Africa Schools Craven Week event over the last few years to see how bad the problem is - 2014 three, 2015 five, 2016 four, 2017 three, 2018 six, etc.  The use of Human Growth Hormone in South African rugby has become something of a joke; i.e. Ellis Genge's reference to Charlie Ewels during his loan period with the Bulls on an RFU issued video; the widely circulated pictures of a 17 year old 'Scottish' winger in his South African school days; etc.

Some serious testing effort needs to be done at the school level.

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Post by yappysnap Thu 25 Jan 2024, 11:11 pm

It's interesting, just anecdotally I was a personal trainer for years and I remember meeting 2 different ex props one from Gloucester and one Wasps who were studying to become personal trainers as well. Both of them were very open about the fact that during their teens they'd had to do peds to be able to make it in the academy system, but had gone totally clean once they got contracts.

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Post by Lowlandbrit Sat 27 Jan 2024, 5:35 am

nlpnlp wrote:You just need to look at the number of positive drug tests which have arisen in the South Africa Schools Craven Week event over the last few years
That's not (just) a recent thing; South African teams have traditionally valued size to the point that it was/is (perceived to be) almost impossible to get a contract without taking something.

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Post by mikey_dragon Sat 27 Jan 2024, 7:46 pm

There’s a lot of big boys in SA, I suppose that puts pressure on some others to get bigger and get noticed. I always suspected something was up, their team looks like bodybuilders running around for the full 80. They aren’t the only ones doing it, some others haven’t been caught yet.

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Post by Mcsweens Thu 01 Feb 2024, 6:28 pm

Heard a juicy (pun intended) rumour that Elton was cut loose by the Boks deliberately.
He was allowed to go on a cycle and management contrived to get his piss tested when hot.

He had damaged the brand, had shagged the nutritionist, wasn't considered a team player.
Best thing to do is to discredit him entirely and move on.

Also, as said above, it helps give the impression that they are tight on testing when the reality is likely anything but.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Thu 01 Feb 2024, 7:08 pm

yappysnap wrote:It's interesting, just anecdotally I was a personal trainer for years and I remember meeting 2 different ex props one from Gloucester and one Wasps who were studying to become personal trainers as well. Both of them were very open about the fact that during their teens they'd had to do peds to be able to make it in the academy system, but had gone totally clean once they got contracts.

I can imagine that this is probably the way most choose to do it. Pretty dangerous on a developing body but gaining significant strength and then going clean and into a professional environment where you should be able to maintain the gain. Unless you're playing international age grade you are probably unlikely to be tested as there's not the budget for it.

I have doubts over a lot of the more mainstream team games. There was a report not so long ago about Premiership footballers being tested as infrequently as once a season and normally always post game.

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Post by doctor_grey Fri 02 Feb 2024, 5:53 pm

formerly known as Sam wrote:
yappysnap wrote:It's interesting, just anecdotally I was a personal trainer for years and I remember meeting 2 different ex props one from Gloucester and one Wasps who were studying to become personal trainers as well. Both of them were very open about the fact that during their teens they'd had to do peds to be able to make it in the academy system, but had gone totally clean once they got contracts.

I can imagine that this is probably the way most choose to do it. Pretty dangerous on a developing body but gaining significant strength and then going clean and into a professional environment where you should be able to maintain the gain. Unless you're playing international age grade you are probably unlikely to be tested as there's not the budget for it.

I have doubts over a lot of the more mainstream team games. There was a report not so long ago about Premiership footballers being tested as infrequently as once a season and normally always post game.
If that is right, then there is effectively no testing.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Fri 02 Feb 2024, 6:42 pm

doctor_grey wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:
yappysnap wrote:It's interesting, just anecdotally I was a personal trainer for years and I remember meeting 2 different ex props one from Gloucester and one Wasps who were studying to become personal trainers as well. Both of them were very open about the fact that during their teens they'd had to do peds to be able to make it in the academy system, but had gone totally clean once they got contracts.

I can imagine that this is probably the way most choose to do it. Pretty dangerous on a developing body but gaining significant strength and then going clean and into a professional environment where you should be able to maintain the gain. Unless you're playing international age grade you are probably unlikely to be tested as there's not the budget for it.

I have doubts over a lot of the more mainstream team games. There was a report not so long ago about Premiership footballers being tested as infrequently as once a season and normally always post game.
If that is right, then there is effectively no testing.  

Apologies for the source;

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-12029209/amp/Does-Premier-League-drugs-problem.html

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Post by king_carlos Fri 02 Feb 2024, 6:48 pm

doctor_grey wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:
yappysnap wrote:It's interesting, just anecdotally I was a personal trainer for years and I remember meeting 2 different ex props one from Gloucester and one Wasps who were studying to become personal trainers as well. Both of them were very open about the fact that during their teens they'd had to do peds to be able to make it in the academy system, but had gone totally clean once they got contracts.

I can imagine that this is probably the way most choose to do it. Pretty dangerous on a developing body but gaining significant strength and then going clean and into a professional environment where you should be able to maintain the gain. Unless you're playing international age grade you are probably unlikely to be tested as there's not the budget for it.

I have doubts over a lot of the more mainstream team games. There was a report not so long ago about Premiership footballers being tested as infrequently as once a season and normally always post game.
If that is right, then there is effectively no testing.  
There's quite a lot of rumours of rugby boosting it's "out of competition" testing numbers by focusing the vast majority of on smaller nations. Basically, if you're in the Rugby Europe Championship at the minute then you are far more likely to get that knock on your door at 6am on a Tuesday than if you're in a Six Nations team. If murmurs are believed.

Getting the data for that specifically is difficult. Seeing how they fiddle their overall numbers more generally can be seen in their reports though. In 2021 (the latest report released):

1559 tests overall across the men's and women's game. Which isn't much.

1262 of those were only urine tests.You have to be a weapons grade moron even by rugby player standards to p**s hot rather than being popped for blood tests. Plus, in many cases it isn't difficult for players with good lawyers to wriggle out of positive urine tests. Far more urine tests with limited blood testing is a good first sign of not trying to catch anyone. There were 159 blood tests done in all of XVs. That's men's and women's. Leicester Tigers have 52 players registered for European rugby at the moment.

667 of the tests were in Sevens compared to 882 in XVs  Laugh Laugh

Of the 667 tests in Sevens, 312 were women's players. Only 52 tests were done in Women's XVs. There were 830 tests done in mens XVs. So nearly 40% the number of tests done on women's 7s as there were in mens XVs...  Erm

Then there are the players who get popped as I posted above. Almost exclusively players from poorer rugby nations. In the 2021 report, that was 2 Columbians, 1 Russian, 1 Namibian and an Argentinian prop in Super Liga America.

So... Padding the stats with urine tests, 7s being tested a lot in general, women's 7s more specifically, only popping players from non rugby nations. This is World Rugby's own report too. Testing in rugby is laughable.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Fri 02 Feb 2024, 6:53 pm

Remember there was the Olympics Sevens in 2021. Always tends to be a lot of testing at the Olympics and would explain the heavy Sevens testing.

Not that excuses the minimalist box ticking exercise that is on display.

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Post by king_carlos Fri 02 Feb 2024, 7:08 pm

formerly known as Sam wrote:Remember there was the Olympics Sevens in 2021. Always tends to be a lot of testing at the Olympics and would explain the heavy Sevens testing.

Not that excuses the minimalist box ticking exercise that is on display.
Basically my point there though Sam. Testing in women's 7s, presumably by WADA at the Olympics, makes up 20% of all testing in rugby that year. It's stat padding to a farcical degree to make it look like they're doing more than they are. Same with the absurd proportion of bans coming for non Six Nations and Rugby Championship nations.

A quick look at AAF (adverse analytical findings) numbers compared to number of bans shows that a tiny proportion of AAFs result in any action too. They, presumably intentionally, don't release the 2021 AAFs in that years report. They do release them for 2020 and back though. So you then have to check the year 2020 report to see how many bans there were and so forth to put the numbers together. From the quick scan I've just done comfortably under 5% of AAFs are resulting in bans.

So you can add usually getting away with testing positive to the other flaws in the system listed above. It's a joke.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Fri 02 Feb 2024, 7:53 pm

king_carlos wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:Remember there was the Olympics Sevens in 2021. Always tends to be a lot of testing at the Olympics and would explain the heavy Sevens testing.

Not that excuses the minimalist box ticking exercise that is on display.
Basically my point there though Sam. Testing in women's 7s, presumably by WADA at the Olympics, makes up 20% of all testing in rugby that year. It's stat padding to a farcical degree to make it look like they're doing more than they are. Same with the absurd proportion of bans coming for non Six Nations and Rugby Championship nations.

A quick look at AAF (adverse analytical findings) numbers compared to number of bans shows that a tiny proportion of AAFs result in any action too. They, presumably intentionally, don't release the 2021 AAFs in that years report. They do release them for 2020 and back though. So you then have to check the year 2020 report to see how many bans there were and so forth to put the numbers together. From the quick scan I've just done comfortably under 5% of AAFs are resulting in bans.

So you can add usually getting away with testing positive to the other flaws in the system listed above. It's a joke.

I don't disagree it's a joke just an observation as to what might actually concern them enough to bother testing.

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