The SA Schools Rugby Association has drawn up a new testing policy to combat steroid use among schoolboy players. DYLAN JACK reports.
This comes after six players at the U18 Craven Week in Paarl tested positive for banned substances.
Sasra chairman Noel Ingle told SARugbymag.co.za that a major part of the policy concerns deterrence.
‘Largely, the policy talks about giving permission [to test] at more than just our official [Youth Week] tournaments. So we are trying to get that under our umbrella and then it would take some of the responsibilities away from individual schools. We will also be looking at funding.
‘There will initially be an increase in testing, which we think will be more of a deterrent.’
Ingle added that education remains an important part of Sasra’s approach to the fight against doping.
‘With the testing comes punitive measures. We will still send out regular correspondence about the consequences of being found positive, which are dire. They can ruin a young boy’s career.
‘Never mind the health issues, both medical and psychological, what are you doing when you take steroids? You are cheating too. That is a psychological thing. Never mind if everyone knows, you have to live with yourself too. You won’t become a top sportsman with things like that hanging over you.’
Sasra will hold a meeting in February where, according to Ingle, the draft policy stands a good chance of being accepted.
‘That policy has still got to be ratified but we have given it to all the associations and are awaiting their feedback to see if they are unhappy with anything,’ Ingle added.
Photo: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images