Thursday 14 December 2017

Paul O'Connell seeks 'sensible explanation' for Toulon doping claims

Paul O'Connell warms up ahead of yesterday's opening training session at the RDS in Dublin RAMSEY CARDY / SPORTSFILE
Paul O'Connell warms up ahead of yesterday's opening training session at the RDS in Dublin RAMSEY CARDY / SPORTSFILE
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Ireland captain Paul O'Connell is hoping for a "sensible explanation" to the reports in France which claimed that Toulon players have been illegally supplied with anabolic steroids by local pharmacists.

Marseille prosecutors are investigating the allegations after being notified by the French anti-doping authority, Agence Francaise de Lutte contre le Dopage (AFDL).

O'Connell will join Toulon following the World Cup and he admitted that it was a worrying thing to hear about his new club.

"I don't know anything about it. Some of the lads told me about it before training, they'd obviously been reading a news website," he said at yesterday's open Ireland session at the RDS.

"I don't know anything about it but I'll be making a phone call to see what the story is.

"It's not a great thing to hear at all, no but hopefully there's a sensible explanation for it. I'm going to try and find out what the story is."


Toulon owner Mourad Boudjellal has since angrily rubbished the claims and said that his players do not have anything to answer for.

"How can RTL (the French broadcaster who made the claims) publish this information on organised doping?" Boudjellal fumed.

"It's very serious. When you want to buy doping products, you don't take your social security card and go to a pharmacy. It would be stupid to do so. The journalist didn't do a thorough investigation."

Meanwhile, Cian Healy took a full part in training yesterday.

Conor Murray trained away from the squad as he recovers from concussion, while Rob Kearney also did a modified session. The full-back is recovering from a bruised knee, but he was also seen to be applying ice to his hamstring after training.

The Ireland management expect him to recover in time to face Canada in the World Cup opener on Saturday week.

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