SA Rugby were scrambling to refute damning allegations being put to them by certain sections of the South African media just a few hours before the Springboks’ important Rugby Championship clash against Argentina on Saturday night.
Earlier on Saturday sarugbymag.co.za released a story claiming that publication Rapport was due to publish a story on Sunday, with allegations of recreational drug use by Bok players.
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Multiple media houses then contacted SA Rugby and their players to follow up on the story, but were met by stiff resistance to the allegations.
SA Rugby then released a statement stating:
“SA Rugby is aware that unsubstantiated allegations of failed tests for recreational drugs by Springbok players are circulating among members of the media.
“Disappointingly, these allegations have already appeared online despite the absence of any evidence to support them.
“SA Rugby has consistently advised all inquiring media that no such reports have been received by SA Rugby or any player from the only authority permitted to perform such tests, the South African Institute for Drug Free Sport. SA Rugby does not conduct its own tests.
“Despite the absence of any such reports, players and management in Argentina have been contacted to ‘tell their story’, distracting and destabilising the entire camp in the build-up today’s Test against Argentina in Buenos Aires.
“SA Rugby wishes to repeat that it has no evidence of any adverse analytical findings for any kind of drug – be it performance enhancing or recreational – by Springbok players and regards the publication or the threat to publish such allegations as a deliberate attempt to sabotage the team’s preparations.”
These allegations come hot on the heels of the Elton Jantjies affair allegations, which has already heavily damaged the Boks’ image over the past week.
Kick-off between Argentina and South Africa on Saturday is 9.10pm.