May 23, 2007
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WADA Congratulates the IRB on Anti-Doping Activities

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) congratulates the International Rugby Board (IRB) on its proposed anti-doping program to be put in place for the Rugby World Cup in France later this year.

WADA has enjoyed a very close partnership with the IRB over recent years, including significant ventures where the IRB has been pivotal in advancing pilot activities in the anti-doping world, for WADA and with WADA. They include:

  1. The introduction of a model Outreach Program and its Keep Rugby Clean campaign conducted by the IRB at its Women’s Rugby World Cup and its youth events, notably the Under 19 and Under 21 World Cups. These ventures assisted WADA in producing a Model Outreach Program which can be used by all International Federations (IF), and indeed all those responsible for organizing national or international events. This provides a great educational tool for athletes, and models the program that WADA first launched at the Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, 2002.

  2. With considerable assistance from the IRB, WADA ran its first pilot Regional Anti-Doping Organization Program in Oceania. This pilot has led to one of the most successful WADA activities whereby anti-doping programs have been introduced to 104 countries, where previously no programs have been run.

  3. WADA works very closely with the IRB on its out-of-competition testing program, and is pleased with the progress shown in the breadth of this important process of sample collection.

WADA President R.W. Pound:

“The IRB has demonstrated a keen awareness of the problem of doping in sport and has worked on addressing the issue on a number of fronts in its own sport,” said WADA President Richard W. Pound. “Not only are they taking measures to detect doping through testing, but they have also dedicated resources to deterrence through outreach and education. In addition, their contribution to the development of regional anti-doping programs is helping to build a lasting legacy for the fight against doping in regions previously lacking in anti-doping testing and education. The IRB, who are fully code compliant and have been long-standing partners of WADA, have set a positive example in the fight to keep drugs cheats out of sport that other IFs would do well to follow. Their in and out of competition testing programs are comprehensive, as shown by their anti-doping program for this year’s Rugby World Cup which began just after the previous Rugby World Cup in 2003 with regular out of competition testing on players from the top 20 Rugby nations around the world.”