The eight teams competing at the World Rugby U20 Trophy 2023 in Nairobi will take a collective stance against doping as the pool stage concludes on Tuesday.
All 184 players representing their nations at Nyayo National Stadium on Keep Rugby Clean Day will wear distinctive t-shirts during their warm-ups to support and promote World Rugby’s anti-doping awareness campaign.
The Keep Rugby Clean campaign aims to deter doping by educating participants on the responsibilities, raising awareness of doping risks and fostering an ethical clean-sport ethos.
Kenya captain Michael Wamalwa believes the benefits of the Keep Rugby Clean programme are felt both on and off the pitch.
“Clean rugby is important as it protects the integrity of the sport we love and ensures a level playing field for all involved,” Wamalwa said.
“[It has been] a transformative experience as it helps me and my team-mates not only abide by the laws of game, but also play clean on and off the field of play.
“It helps me and my team-mates maintain the integrity of the sport of rugby. It also helps us to be people of integrity in our lives outside of rugby.”
Ahead of this year’s U20 Trophy, all participating teams were required to complete online and face-to-face education, delivered in their native language.
“Clean rugby is important as it creates an equal playing environment for all competitors in rugby, resulting in fair competition and enjoyment,” Scotland co-captain Ben Afshar said.
“During my time playing rugby I have had a positive experience with the campaign through various lectures to keep me up to date on any new information.
“The campaign has helped me with information on how to protect myself from various risks with different products as well as dealing with different situations to make sure the sport remains fair and competitive.”
USA captain Dominic Besag added: "I have played this game since I was five. The number one thing is integrity and community.
"Keep Rugby Clean reinforces those values and that’s exactly what we need in this game. Keep the community strong, keep the integrity, keep the honesty and this sport will continue to grow."
World Rugby works closely with the World Anti-Doping Authority (WADA) and national anti-doping organisations to deter intentional doping behaviours and avoid accidental doping.
For more information on the Keep Rugby Clean campaign please go to www.world.rugby/keep-rugby-clean