A collaborative anti-doping education meeting involving the key stakeholders in South African Rugby was held Monday in Newlands, Cape Town, with the aim of strengthening education and information delivery for young players and their support network.

Chaired by World Rugby, with SARU, SAIDS, SASRA, Myplayers and SA Rugby Legends in attendance at the offices of the SA Institute for Drug Free Sports (SAIDS), all parties committed to strengthening existing SAIDS/SARU initiatives with the aim of a providing high quality targeted education throughout the development pathway.

A particular focus will be placed on early education intervention through schools rugby, supported by joint research initiatives designed to better understand the pressures faced by those progressing in the game.

World Rugby’s Anti-Doping General Manager Mike Earl said he was delighted with the participation of the delegates and the outcome of the ground-breaking meeting in Newlands, “this meeting strengthens the collaborative partnership between all involved in supporting clean South African rugby. The clear commitment to furthering research, education and promotion from all around the table will ensure the prioritisation of this key aspect of player welfare and development for young players into the future”.

Clint Readhead, the Senior Manager for the Medical Department of SA Rugby, emphasised that it is important to start with education and awareness from a young age, “it is so important that players, coaches and parents educate and inform themselves about the dangers with respect to doping and the risks regarding the use of supplements,” said Readhead. “Not only is doping cheating and against the spirit of the game, a positive test will also have a huge impact of your future involvement in the game. It starts with taking anti-doping seriously.”