With supplement use a reality across society, the governing body has committed to providing the best possible level of advice and education to young rugby players as they embark on potential careers in the sport.
A cornerstone of the educational campaign is a video (below) outlining the importance of maintaining a healthy, balanced diet and lifestyle as well as the potential risks and impact associated with supplements.
Former Leinster star, Argentina captain and WADA Athlete Committee member, Dr Felipe Contepomi, who appears on the video, talked about the risks, including contamination of some supplements, and said: “Players at all levels of the game should understand that if they are thinking about taking nutritional supplements, they need to know the potential risk of doping and possible long-term health risks associated with taking them.
“It is absolutely possible to perform to your best at any level of the game through maintaining a healthy, balanced diet, good training and good rest. I encourage everyone to think seriously about this.”
The video, which has been shown to the future stars of world rugby at anti-doping workshops during the U20 Championship, includes a strong message from three-time Olympic medallist Lauryn Williams, who was successful at both the winter and summer Games by maintaining a healthy, balanced diet.
“I think that an athlete should put their confidence in food and not in supplements,” said Williams, who is also a WADA Athlete Committee member.
“I made it to four Olympic Games and got three medals from it so I think I did pretty well with just food!”
“If you decide to take supplements then you’re not really confident in yourself. If that’s the way you’re thinking then it’s not the best way to go about it. I want to go, I want to be the best that I can be, I want to work as hard as I possibly can, I want to give myself the best nutrition, I want to do it in a way that is going to preserve my integrity and make people really proud of me at the end of the day,” she says.
“You are responsible for everything that goes into your body. You can think you’re doing the right thing but you’re the one that’s going to serve the ban.”