The South African Rugby Union (SARU) has come out in enthusiastic support of the South African Institute for the Drug-Free Sports’ (SAIDS) new Anti-Doping education and testing programme in high schools.
SARU urges all rugby-playing schools to sign up for the initiative – which is currently being rolled out by SAIDS on a province-by-province basis.
“We condemn the use of illegal substances and are vigilant in the fight to ensure that this scourge remains limited to a minority,” said Jurie Roux, CEO OF SARU. “SARU is aggressive in its anti-doping strategy and contributes funds to the SAIDs testing programme so that we can reach every level of the game.
“SARU would encourage all schools to sign up and become part of SAIDS’ school testing programme. Your involvement will assist SAIDS and the various sports federations to level the playing fields.”
Roux said SARU only had jurisdiction over schoolboy rugby at SARU Youth Week tournaments and did not have the opportunity to test at any other school rugby event.
“We’ve collaborated with SAIDS to implement a testing programme at the SARU Youth Weeks and now test players at the Grant Khomo U16 tournament; the U18 Academy tournament and we random test 50% of all boys who participate at the U18 Coca-Cola Craven Week,” said Roux.
“We’re very pleased that SAIDs have been able to throw the net wider than we ever could and we fully support this move to drive pupil education and testing at schools.”
In addition to its testing programme, SARU also runs education workshops at the SARU Youth Week tournaments to raise awareness around the dangers of doping; the impact that positive tests have on players’ careers as well as the moral considerations.
“Despite the extensive testing at senior level no Springbok had tested positive for steroids since 1996,” said Roux. “However, we’re not complacent and are aware that the temptations are much greater at the youth level of the game.
“Rugby has always prided itself as a hard game but one that is played with the highest regard for fair play and camaraderie. The use of performance enhancing drugs goes against that creed.”
To register your school on the programme and to receive Anti-Doping Education contact Rafiek Mammon, Education Manager for the SAIDS: firstname.lastname@example.org or contact SAIDS on 08610724370.
Also visit the BokSmart website, www.BokSmart.com for further information on the dangers of drugs in Sport, supplements and advice on correct nutrition and hydration for the game of rugby.