World Rugby has announced results of the anti-doping testing and education programme undertaken during Rugby World Cup 2015 in partnership with UK Anti-Doping (UKAD).
UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) was the official sample collection organisation for the Rugby World Cup and in total 468 samples were taken across all 20 participating teams. In a targeted and intelligence-led programme 200 in-competition samples were collected, whilst 268 samples were collected out-of-competition.
To date, no adverse analytical findings have been recorded.
All samples undertaken at the showcase tournament were analysed at the WADA-accredited laboratory at the Drug Control Centre, King’s College, London.
Tests included a mix of urine (317 samples collected) and blood (151) and World Rugby has taken the decision to store some samples for future re-analysis.
In 2013 World Rugby introduced an Athlete Biological Passport (ABP) programme and as a result of World Rugby increasing its targeted testing and education budget by nearly 30% in 2015, England 2015 was the first Rugby World Cup to include the (ABP) programme.
The tournament testing plan was built on World Rugby’s existing anti-doping programme which has seen over 1,300 blood and urine tests undertaken across the teams between January and September.
Rugby World Cup 2015 also featured rugby’s biggest-ever #KeepRugbyClean anti-doping education programme with more than 600 players and 500 team officials undertaking mandatory education prior to the start of the tournament, while the game’s top stars joined the global rugby family in supporting the #KeepRugbyClean day on 26 September, engaging a digital audience of millions.
UKAD Chief Executive, Nicole Sapstead said:
“UKAD was delighted to be part of such a prestigious event and provide an expert service to World Rugby and organisers of Rugby World Cup 2015.
“Ensuring that there is a robust and rigorous testing programme at a major event is an essential part to protecting the integrity of any sporting competition, and World Rugby worked hard to ensure that such a comprehensive anti-doping programme was in place.
“World Rugby should be congratulated on their successful Keep Rugby Clean campaign. Anti-doping education is a vital tool in protecting clean sport. It is a key tool in preventing doping as it helps players to make the right choices so they do not risk their careers or their health.”
World Rugby Chairman Bernard Lapasset said:
“Doping is a major threat to the integrity of sport and World Rugby is committed to a prevention programme of targeted testing and global education to ensure that players at all levels understand the performance and health importance of maintaining a level playing field for all.
“Our Rugby World Cup 2015 programme was based on intelligence-led testing and reflects our commitment to ensure that we are ahead of the curve in this area. While there were no adverse findings before, or during, Rugby World Cup 2015 that doesn’t mean we can become complacent as to the risks. That is why we have increased our budget in this important area and committed to storing samples for potential further analysis.
“As our showcase tournament, Rugby World Cup 2015 provided a global platform to reach, engage and educate the global rugby family at all levels as well as wider society. Collectively, we must continue to drive the education agenda and protect clean players. I would like to thank everyone who took part and supported this important programme.”