On Saturday, rumours and reports started to swirl online about the Boks, with SA Rugby magazine reporting that Sunday newspaper Rapport was ready to publish a story that alleges “several Springboks have tested positive for cocaine”.
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However, there was no sign of this report on Sunday, with the only article on the matter in fact stating that there had been conflicting information upon investigation of the matter, and that there wasn’t enough evident to publish anything as fact.
Meanwhile SA Rugby responded to emphatically deny the reports surrounding ‘unsubstantiated allegations of failed player tests for recreational drugs’.
Speaking after the Rugby Championship clash on Saturday, Nienaber also said: “From my side, it was quite disturbing, especially the timing of it, five hours before a big Test match like this and it’s a ‘semi-final’, you know, I’m stunned.
“I’m literally stunned that allegations like that can be made about this team because again we are tested as any other team is tested regularly, sometimes three times a week in South Africa.
“There hasn’t been one positive case since we’ve been together all this year. So yeah, it is disappointing.”
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You can watch the full post-match video where Nienaber and Kolisi both speak about the reports and response from the team:
SA Rugby released this statement in relation to the reports about the Boks:
SA Rugby is aware that unsubstantiated allegations of failed tests for recreational drugs by Springbok players are circulating among members of the media.
Disappointingly, these allegations have already appeared online despite the absence of any evidence to support them.
SA Rugby has consistently advised all inquiring media that no such reports have been received by SA Rugby or any player from the only authority permitted to perform such tests, the South African Institute for Drug Free Sport. SA Rugby does not conduct its own tests.
Despite the absence of any such reports, players and management in Argentina have been contacted to “tell their story”, distracting and destabilising the entire camp in the build-up today’s Test against Argentina in Buenos Aires.
SA Rugby wishes to repeat that it has no evidence of any adverse analytical findings for any kind of drug – be it performance enhancing or recreational – by Springbok players and regards the publication or the threat to publish such allegations as a deliberate attempt to sabotage the team’s preparations.
These latest reports come in a week where the Springboks have been preparing for a clash against Argentina on Saturday night, although much of the build-up to this match has been overshadowed by reports of an alleged affair between flyhalf Elton Jantjies and Springbok dietician Zeenat Simjee.
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Point scorers from Saturday:
Argentina – (6) 20
Try: Penalty try, Matias Moroni
Conversion: Emiliano Boffelli
Penalties: Emiliano Boffelli (2)
South Africa – (22) 36
Tries: Penalty try, Jaden Hendrikse, Malcolm Marx (2), Damian de Allende
Conversions: Frans Steyn (2), Damian Willemse
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