8 Oct 2016

Racing defends rugby stars

6:38 am on 8 October 2016

French rugby club Racing 92 rejected rumours that three of their players, including former All Blacks stars Dan Carter and Joe Rokococo, had broken anti-doping rules in administering corticosteroids.

Dan Carter playing for new French club Racing Metro 92.

Dan Carter playing for new French club Racing Metro 92. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Responding to a report in French sports newspaper L'Equipe, which said traces of the drug had been detected in urine samples from Carter, Rokocoko and Argentina's Juan Imhoff at the final of the Top 14 competition in June, the club said that the players had respected anti-doping rules.

Joe Rokocoko, left, and Dan Carter

Joe Rokocoko, left, and Dan Carter Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The club says the players did not need Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUE) to use the drugs, which act as an anti-inflammatory and painkiller.

"All the medical procedures practiced on the players and cited by the media were done with full respect for national and international anti-doping rules," Racing said in a statement.

"This is related to treatment administered in an authorised method, provided in response to proven pathologies, multiple days before the Top 14 finale and not requiring a TUE (Therapeutic Use Exemption)," the club added.

However, Simon Porter from the management group which represents 2015 World Cup winner Carter and Rokocoko said: "We have been aware of the issue for a few weeks. Our understanding and assurances we've had are all the documents around TUEs were in place."

L'Equipe reported that the French Agency Against Doping (AFLD) ran surprise tests on players in Barcelona on June 25 as they prepared to compete in the Top 14 final in which Racing beat Toulon 29-21.

Corticosteroids are forbidden during competition except for in special cases.

The newspaper reported that the three players did not have TUEs.

Racing said that it collaborates fully with all medical investigations, and said that "transparency will be total.

"Dan Carter, Juan Imhoff and Joe Rokocoko are examples of everyday generosity, behaviour and ethics," the club added.