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Sport Ireland met IRFU to discuss drug testing schools rugby players

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IRFU and Sport Ireland officials met last year to discuss the potential to carry out drug testing in schools rugby, new documents show. (stock photo)

IRFU and Sport Ireland officials met last year to discuss the potential to carry out drug testing in schools rugby, new documents show. (stock photo)

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IRFU and Sport Ireland officials met last year to discuss the potential to carry out drug testing in schools rugby, new documents show. (stock photo)

IRFU and Sport Ireland officials met last year to discuss the potential to carry out drug testing in schools rugby, new documents show.

The discussion was highlighted in the minutes of a Sport Ireland board meeting in April 2018, obtained by the Sunday Independent under Freedom of Information. They show Sport Ireland chief executive John Treacy updated board members about a meeting with the IRFU.

Mr Treacy told the board on April 17 last year, the meeting was "to discuss the potential for future anti-doping testing to [take] place within schools rugby". Sport Ireland considers rugby to be a greater doping risk than athletics. Testing on rugby players increased almost 60pc in the past two years. The IRFU says rugby enforces stringent drug-testing standards. However, while it does facilitate schools rugby matches, the IRFU does not govern the schools game.

This means Sport Ireland is not permitted to carry out drug testing at this level.

Sunday Independent