Anti-Doping and Illicit Drugs
The Rugby Football Union (RFU) condemns drug use in sport. It is harmful to the health of players, totally contrary to the spirit of rugby and the RFU is committed to protecting all players' fundamental right to participate in doping free rugby.
Photo: RFU Archive
The RFU identifies integrity, fairness, equity and respect as essential to success in rugby and we aim to protect rugby from being undermined by doping.
The RFU run distinct policies and programmes for both anti-doping and illicit drugs.
RFU Methylhexaneamine warning
In light of recent media stories, the RFU would advise players and clubs to be extra vigilant when using dietary or nutritional supplements, following the discovery of banned substance Methylhexaneamine in a number of products. More information can be found via the RFU Methylhexaneamine guidelines.
The anti-doping policy and programme comply with the World Anti-Doping Code and the IRB Anti-Doping Regulations and involve testing for substances on the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List both in-competition (ie immediately after a match) and out-of-competition (eg at training or at home).
The RFU works closely with UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) and the International Rugby Board (IRB) in the fight against doping, and conducts a comprehensive anti-doping programme covering education, testing and results management.
Here you will find detailed information on this and much more, including doping player case studies, the current prohibited substances list, and supplements advice, catering for both the elite performer and the grassroots rugby player.
There is also a section in the news area bringing you up-to-date anti-doping news.
The Illicit Drugs Policy is an RFU initiative in conjunction with Premier Rugby Limited (PRL) and the Rugby Players Association (RPA) which is aimed at protecting the health and welfare of players and the image of the game. The Illicit Drugs Programme is run by the RFU separate from, and over and above, the anti-doping programme. The focus is specifically on certain illicit drugs which are open to abuse in a social setting and there is an integrated three-fold programme of education, testing and sanction (as a deterrent) and counselling/treatment.