Gatland reveals his doping suspicions
SPOTLIGHT: Doping in Rugby Union is back in the spotlight, after former Wales coach Warren Gatland made some startling claims about his own suspicions.
Gatland admitted he suspected that a Welsh player had been using performance-enhancing drugs.
In an interview with the Irish sports show Off the Ball, he said in his time at the helm, there was one player he coached who he was suspicious of.
“I think we all want [rugby] to stay as clean as we possibly can.
“You know I haven’t come across personally any players from a Wales perspective that I would – well sorry, maybe one.
“Maybe one, now that I think about it.
“When asked if the person in question played for Wales, Gatland responded, “He may have done, yeah.”
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Gatland clarified by pointing out that he had no hard proof that the player was doping, but that teammates had made jokes about it.
“It’s probably a little bit unfair of me to say I had suspicions about one of them because I’ve got no evidence or anything like that.
“Because it’s kind of like just saying, ‘Is there a possibility?’… It was more like a couple of people making jokes sort of thing. And you go, ‘Oh is that…’
“Truth in humour?,” presenter Joe Molloy asked.
“Yeah, exactly,” Gatland responded.
However, Gatland did say that was the only suspicion he had of a player doping during his 12 years as head coach of Wales.
“I’d like to think that the sport is clean. From a New Zealand perspective, I think it’s pretty clean.
“When you go down levels… We’re seeing positives in Wales as well at junior levels and in other nations as well.
“There’s always that temptation in players at wanting to try to play at a higher level and taking the risks at taking drugs. I definitely don’t condone that,” Gatland commented.