The International Rugby Board has reaffirmed its commitment to the fight against doping in sport by undertaking a record level of education and testing in 2013.

At its annual meeting in Dublin this week, the IRB’s Anti-Doping Advisory Committee (ADAC) announced that a record 1,831 In and Out of Competition controls had been taken by the IRB across men’s and women’s tournaments and events, including Rugby World Cup 2015 qualifiers, Women’s Rugby World Cup 2014 qualifiers, Rugby World Cup Sevens, IRB Test matches and age grade Rugby.

The programme, which included an increased commitment to blood testing, saw three Anti-Doping rule violations, equating to 0.16 per cent of the IRB’s entire programme. While the 2013 Rugby figures published by World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) are still pending, 2012 saw nearly 8,000* tests undertaken worldwide by National Anti-Doping Organisations, Unions and the IRB combined with 106 rule violations.

The IRB is committed to blood testing across its portfolio of events In and Out of Competition, and has conducted 596 blood tests since debuting at Rugby World Cup 2007 in France, including a record programme of 111 tests in 2013.

At the heart of the programme has been the IRB’s commitment to education, with the WADA-praised Keep Rugby Clean interactive outreach campaign rolled out to more than 1,500 age grade and Sevens players during the year.

Watch the Keep Rugby Clean video to learn more about the IRB’s Anti-Doping education programme.

The ADAC, chaired by Giancarlo Dondi (Italy) and including WADA Athlete Committee member and former Argentina star, Dr Felipe Contepomi, brought together leading experts in the field of Anti-Doping and sports science to review the WADA Code and WADA International Standards, and consider the latest developments in the critical area of Anti-Doping.

It also reviewed the IRB's 2013 Anti-Doping activities and 2014 objectives, including the adoption of 2015 WADA Code to ensure that Rugby remains at the forefront of the fight against drugs cheats.

Dondi said: "The integrity of sport is founded on fair play and promotion of a level playing field for all and the IRB and its 119 Member Unions are fully committed to a zero-tolerance towards drug cheats in Rugby."

"Rugby undertakes an extensive annual programme of education and testing in order to build and promote a level playing field for our players at all levels based on Rugby’s character-building values of integrity, discipline, respect, solidarity and passion."

"Education is at the heart of our programme and our message to young players is to think and take advice before buying nutritional supplements and check out the website."

"The Anti-Doping Advisory Committee meetings play a crucial role in our fight against doping by enabling a forum to assess and discuss the latest research and trends and stress test Rugby’s approach to ensure that we continue to deliver leading Anti-Doping education and testing programmes."

IRB ADAC Members: Giancarlo Dondi (Italy, Chairman) are Tim Gresson (New Zealand), Graeme Mew (Canada), Ismail Jakoet (South Africa), David Gerrard (New Zealand), Audrey Kinahan (Ireland), Daniel Eichner (USA), Felipe Contepomi (Argentina and WADA Athlete Committee member) and Gregor Nicholson (Scotland). 

*The total figure of 7,930 tests comprises 3,497 In Competition urine, 3,728 Out Of Competition urine, 207 In Competition blood and 498 Out Of Competition blood.