Saturday 22 July 2017

Racing trio have no case to answer - O'Gara

“Everyone on the winning team is tested,” O’Gara says. Photo: Getty
“Everyone on the winning team is tested,” O’Gara says. Photo: Getty
Brendan Fanning

Brendan Fanning

Racing 92 will face a hearing in Paris on Wednesday following the positive doping tests of three of their players in the Top 14 final last June. And Ronan O'Gara, who is heading into his fourth season on the coaching staff at the club, says there is no case to answer.

"I've been in the meetings and I'm fully aware of exactly what's gone on," O'Gara (above) says. "There's 60-80 of these administered in a year - an injection into a joint - and that's exactly what it is. Every player gets tested after a final - that's the rule. And there were three readings showing a corticoid and the readings are extremely low. And if you have an explanation as to why you administered them then it's a non-story."

The players concerned are former All Blacks Dan Carter and Joe Rokocoko, and Argentine international Juan Imhoff.

"Everyone on the winning team is tested," O'Gara says. "That's normal procedure - and that's another inaccuracy that's come out in the press, in terms of it being random. Every single player that wins the Top 14 gets tested.

"I've been rattled by the reaction because there's a presumption that anything goes in Racing, and a bunch of cheats won a final. So if you take pride in your work that's a massive attack on your character, and what you stand for. If I believed that there was unsporting practices accepted here I'd be out the door in the morning.

"I have no doubt that one of the challenges facing rugby is steroid abuse - but this is an anti-inflammatory. I think growth hormone is an issue in the game and it's something I feel very strong on. But to attack the character of three players like that, with very little information, is a very sad state of affairs that the game is in."

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