Alan Quinlan has used his weekly column in the Irish Times to deny that there is a systematic doping culture in rugby. In a highly interesting article, Quinlan talks about a wide range of things concerning doping in rugby, from his experiences to his beliefs about doping in the sport.
Central to Quinlan's argument is that while it's probable there is doping in rugby, it's not a systematic problem driven by clubs and teams, but rather, an issue that individuals fall victim of. Quinlan refers to the whispers that he heard about doping during his career, much like Ronan O'Gara and Bernard Jackman did, although he says that that was never an issue during his career.
A very interesting column by @AlanQuinlan1 http://t.co/14E27x2Ast
— Paul Kimmage (@PaulKimmage) December 10, 2014
Quinlan kicks of his article with a recent example of the Irish Sports Council contacting one of the provinces over suspicions regarding a player who had gained a large amount of body mass in a relatively short space of time.
Within the last 18 months, one of the Irish provinces made contact with the Irish Sports Council regarding one of their players.
The province got onto the Sports Council and suggested that they target this player for drug testing. I know this for a fact and I can back it up if anyone wants me to.
The player passed all his tests.
Quinlan also mentions two humorous anecdotes about his own experiences with PEDs and drug testing, which highlight the lack of knowledge and awareness in rugby. His account of Peter Bracken's first drug test is very comical.
Apparently, due to it being the first time that Bracken was tested, he was incredibly nervous. Of course, some people when they get nervous often shake. Bracken's hands were shaking so violently during the urine collection that he managed to get more of it on his hands than in the cup. If that wasn't bad enough, he proceeded to shake the drug testers hand afterwards such was his relief, all before he washed his hands.
Quinlan talks about his use of injections for recovery, and how it's legal once it's declared to the IRB/World Rugby, leading to this humorous tweet from Brendan Fanning.
@patgeraghty54 @PaulKimmage @AlanQuinlan1 never mind that, I'm trying to shake the image of him bent over bench in changing room. Nice...
— Brendan Fanning (@BrendanFanning) December 10, 2014
You can read the full article in today's Irish Times.