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Friday 9 December 2016

Jamie Heaslip: There's no drugs problem in rugby

26 September 2015; Ireland's Jamie Heaslip speaks to the media during the pre-match press conference. Ireland Rugby Press Conference, 2015 Rugby World Cup, Wembley Stadium, Wembley, London, England. Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE
26 September 2015; Ireland's Jamie Heaslip speaks to the media during the pre-match press conference. Ireland Rugby Press Conference, 2015 Rugby World Cup, Wembley Stadium, Wembley, London, England. Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE

Jamie Heaslip insists rugby has no drugs problem, as World Rugby heralds 'Keep Rugby Clean Day'.

Governing body World Rugby has called on all players in training or match action on Saturday to sport T-shirts sporting the slogan '#KeepRugbyClean'.

Ireland's players donned special pink tops in training at Wembley Stadium, ahead of facing Romania in Pool D on Sunday.

Former South Africa international Chiliboy Ralepelle is the latest star to be banned for performance-enhancing drugs, the hooker handed a two-year sanction after testing positive for anabolic steroids.

"I don't think there's a problem in the sport, the procedures in place are pretty good and stringent," said Heaslip, who will captain Ireland on Sunday.

"To give an example, we give an hour a day of our time off to say where and when we can get tested."

Triple European champions Toulon have recently been embroiled in an illegal doping storm, French prosecutors launching investigations alleging banned substances were provided by pharmacists in the south of France.

Toulon boss Mourad Boudjellal moved quickly to scotch the rumours and allegations, but a black cloud of suspicion has remained ever since.

"I've been tested numerous times, especially in this last quarter, the last three months," said Heaslip, outlining World Rugby's testing programme.

"I've been tested quite a bit, both after games and at 0630 in the morning.

"As much as you don't like it, it gets done, and it's part and parcel of the game, and the authorities do a great job keeping the game clean."

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