Monday 27 May 2019

David Nucifora refuses to rule out Irish rugby signing another player with a doping conviction despite Grobler backlash

Former Munster second row Gerbrandt Grobler. Photo: Sportsfile
Former Munster second row Gerbrandt Grobler. Photo: Sportsfile

THE fallout from Munster signing Gerbrandt Grobler will not result in a change of policy from the IRFU.

The decision of the Irish province and the union to recruit the South African second-row, who had served a two-year ban for taking steroids in 2014, came in for widespread criticism.

According to their own literature on anti-doping, the IRFU operate a 'zero-tolerance' policy on performance-enhancing drugs and speaking while the controversy was raging in January, union chief Philip Browne said the organisation would review whether a player with a similar past would be recruited again.

"I think it’s 20/20 vision. Will we consider how we’ll deal with a similar situation in the future? The answer is yes," he said.

However, performance director David Nucifora – who signed off on the Grobler deal, as he does with all overseas signings – said he would not be changing how he approaches similar cases.

"We’d look at it and we’d look at the individual case of what’s happened," he said.

"It wouldn’t be smart to put a stamp and say, 'Anyone who has had a doping conviction cannot play rugby here'. That wouldn’t make any sense whatsoever."

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