ARU chief pledges anti-doping focus
February 13, 2013
Super Rugby season launched in Melbourne%]
Bill Pulver is confident rugby union in Australia is clean, but he has vowed a vigorous fight against performance-enhancing drugs.
The National Rugby League is dealing with revelations that six clubs were investigated in the 12-month Australian Crime Commission (ACC) probe into doping, but rugby union appears to be in the clear after Pulver, the Australian Rugby Union chief executive, confirmed he had not been notified of any alleged cases of drug use by elite rugby players in Australia.
Pulver received a personal briefing from the ACC and the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) last Wednesday.
"At this point we've had no feedback in relation to rugby and I hope it stays that way," Pulver said at the official Super Rugby launch in Melbourne on Wednesday.
"We have another meeting of the chief executives in Melbourne tomorrow ... I think we'll learn more from the Australian Crime Commission and ASADA about the steps going forward. And those steps are obviously trying to entice players to come forward so that in the event that they admit the issue they'll maybe have a six-month ban, where if they get caught independently they could be wiped out of the game for four years or even potentially go to jail. We will learn more about it [on Thursday] but I must say I'm pleased with the state of that issue from a rugby perspective.
"I think we were proactive with our integrity unit back in 2010 but I just don't want to be complacent and we need to be even more rigorous going forward."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"Cheika's been phenomenal. He gives you an incredible level of mental strength." Tom Hamilton talks to Waratahs star Jacques Potgieter
While the Super Rugby season enters the all-important knockout phase, elsewhere pre-season training never looked so enjoyable. We round-up the best snaps in our Week in Pictures
"Our scrums and lineouts are sometimes not that good but our men are very brave." Ken Borland finds that rugby is on the rise in Senegal
Laurie Fisher talks about the Brumbies and Gloucester, and provides revealing thoughts on the player involvement during the glory days in Canberra