Results of the anti-doping testing and education program that was undertaken during Rugby World Cup 2015 in partnership with UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) have been announced by World Rugby.

For the Rugby World Cup, UK Anti-Doping was the official sample collection organization and a total of 468 samples were taken across all 20 participating teams. In an intelligence-led and targeted program, 200 in-competition samples were collected and 268 samples were collected out-of-competition. World Rugby has taken the decision to store some samples for future re-analysis and the tests included a mix of urine (317 samples collected) and blood (151).

No adverse analytical findings have been recorded till date. All samples undertaken at the Rugby World Cup 2015 were analyzed at the WADA-accredited laboratory at the Drug Control Centre, King’s College, London.

World Rugby introduced an Athlete Biological Passport (ABP) program in 2013 and World Rugby increased its targeted testing and education budget by nearly 30 percent in 2015. England 2015 was the first Rugby World Cup to include the (ABP) program.

UKAD Chief Executive, Nicole Sapstead said UK Anti-Doping was delighted to be part of such a prestigious event and provide an expert service to World Rugby and organizers of Rugby World Cup 2015. Sapstead added that ensuring that there is a robust and rigorous testing program at a major event is an essential part to protecting the integrity of any sporting competition, and World Rugby worked hard to ensure that such a comprehensive anti-doping program was in place. The UKAD Chief Executive also commented that World Rugby should be congratulated on their successful Keep Rugby Clean campaign. Anti-doping education is a vital tool in protecting clean sport and it is a key tool in preventing doping as it helps players to make the right choices so they do not risk their careers or their health.

World Rugby Chairman Bernard Lapasset commented that our Rugby World Cup 2015 program was based on intelligence-led testing and reflects our commitment to ensure that we are ahead of the curve in this area. Lapasset added while there were no adverse findings before, or during, Rugby World Cup 2015 that doesn’t mean we can become complacent as to the risks and that is why we have increased our budget in this important area and committed to storing samples for potential further analysis.

The chairman of World Rugby also said doping is a major threat to the integrity of sport and World Rugby is committed to a prevention program of targeted testing and global education to ensure that players at all levels understand the performance and health importance of maintaining a level playing field for all. Lapasset also said Rugby World Cup 2015 as our showcase tournament provided a global platform to reach, engage and educate the global rugby family at all levels as well as wider society. He also remarked we must collectively continue to drive the education agenda and protect clean players and added he would like to thank everyone who took part and supported this important program.

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