WRU urges clubs to nominate club integrity officers to help players ‘Stay Onside’.
The Welsh Rugby Union has increased its level of anti-doping education across all levels of Welsh rugby and has invited community clubs to nominate club integrity officers to receive further guidance.
The WRU now has a team of UKAD educators and after initially concentrating on key target areas over the summer – the Principality Premiership, WRU Championship, Regional age grade and Dewar Shield squads, along with all international players – the focus now is on education for grassroots club players.
WRU Policy and integrity manager Jeremy Rogers said, “We take anti-doping education very seriously and have made a number of steps in our efforts to ensure players, coaches and athlete support personnel are well-educated on issues such as supplements, medications and anti-doping rules and are fully aware of their responsibility in the matter.”
“There is no place for doping in Welsh rugby and we hope that these measures will reduce the risk of long-term bans which damage players’ on and off-field careers and the reputation of all involved. We want players to make good decisions both on and off the field, and we are seeking to raise awareness and education levels in the club game around anti-doping. Players should focus primarily on having a healthy balanced diet, with good hydration habits and appropriate rest and recovery alongside an effective training programme. If community players feel they need to consider the use of supplements, they should be aware of the risks and be able to make well informed decisions.”
“We have worked with WRU nutritionists, sports scientists and medical staff and have sent a series of informative leaflets to all our clubs along with ‘Stay Onside’ banners and posters. The banners and posters are available in Welsh on request. We have also utilised the skills of the WRU Youth Board as part of our Anti-Doping Working Group in developing our approach to anti-doping.”
The WRU is appealing to all clubs to nominate a key member of their senior or youth team management to become their club’s integrity officer. They will be the point of contact for all information regarding anti-doping and they will be invited to ‘Train the Trainer’ workshops across Wales in the New Year so that they, in turn, can deliver key messages to players and support personnel within their club.
“We’ve had a good response so far with over 39% of the clubs nominating an integrity officer already, so I would encourage those clubs who have not yet engaged with us, to contact our Athlete Integrity Support Officer, Robert Thompson, and provide their nomination. This will enable us to to roll out the education programme, and support clubs in ensuring that we promote the positive values of our game. We can be contacted by e-mail – Antifirstname.lastname@example.org “
“The WRU Anti-Doping Rules are based on strict liability, so players are solely responsible for any substance found in their system, whether inadvertent or intentional, and long-term bans not only adversely affect the player but the rest of their team, family and club.”
All information on how to check medication, supplements and banned substances can be found on the WRU website at www.wru.wales/antidoping