Monday 11 December 2017

Paul Kimmage's 'medicalisation of rugby' suggestions did not sit well with Cian Healy

Leinster and Ireland prop Cian Healy reacted strongly to Paul Kimmage's
Leinster and Ireland prop Cian Healy reacted strongly to Paul Kimmage's "medicalistaion of rugby" suggestions.
Declan Whooley

Declan Whooley

Sunday Independent columnist Paul Kimmage was on the Saturday Night Show last night to speak of his concerns for the sport of rugby and it did not sit well with Irish international Cian Healy.

Kimmage has written in recent months of the "medicalisation of rugby", which includes doping, after speaking extensively to former French international Laurent Benezech. His book Rugby, Ou Sont tes Valeurs? (Rugby, where are your values?) details the use of "medical assistance" in the sport.

Benezech was sued by the Players' Union, Proval, in a case he would eventually win with the help of experts.

Read more: Benezech: Rugby players' health is my only concern

Talking to Brendan O'Connor last night, Kimmage was asked to clarify his stance on the issue.

"I’m talking about the medicalisation of rugby and that includes doping,” Kimmage said.

“To suggest there is a doping problem in rugby – which there is and it’s not just me, it’s the chief executive of the RFU has said that – and that it doesn’t apply in Ireland is naive.”

He said he wasn't making any accusations despite some stinging criticism from some within the game, but he said this was in some ways to be expected.

Read more: Beating the drum on drugs in rugby that no-one wants to hear?

“I’ve made no accusation at all,” Kimmage said.

“All I’ve done is bring the Irish public a view from inside the game.

“Anyone who is making a living from the game or is playing the game, they don’t want to know (regarding the issue of medicalisation),” he said later in the interview.

Leinster and Ireland Cian Healy took to Twitter to voice his disagreement with the journalist.

"So don't eat lots of omlettes and take painkillers or go to the gym because it's not this chaps idea of what sports is.... FRO," he tweeted.

"Rugby is one size fits all now apparently.....

"Better call in and cancel weights on Monday, I'm getting too big for a journalists idea of what sport is...."

When asked if the rugby star believed there was a doping issue in rugby, he replied: "We've never had one bar an issue with an inhaler some years ago. Testing is regular and worldwide. I stick to facts."

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