Former Ireland and Leinster captain Brian O’Driscoll has opened up on the use of legal painkillers in rugby during his playing career outlining that for him their use “almost became a habit.”
O’Driscoll was one of Ireland and Leinster’s finest players winning countless individual and collective accolades during his nearly 20-year career.
Speaking to Off The Ball’s Wednesday night rugby, O’Driscoll touched on the use of legal painkillers in the game, a topic that has come under much scrutiny in recent times.
“I would have been part of teams where on the way to games, a doctor would have walked down the bus and asked who wanted what in advance of it,” O’Driscoll said.
“For me, for the last couple of seasons, it would have been part of my match prep.”
“It almost became like habit,” he added.
The 39-year old explained that if he wasn’t feeling 100% ahead of a game, they may have given him and many other players, the little boost they needed to perform to somewhere close to the best of their abilities.
“It gave me a fighting chance, if I wasn’t feeling 100%, that it might have levelled it up. I wouldn’t have been the only one. It was mostly the older players, trying to balance the equilibrium almost.
“I’m sure at times, in my subconscious, I would have just taken it because it became part and parcel, when maybe I could have done without it.
“Again, when it’s perfectly legal and there are no need for TUEs, give yourself a chance to play your best game.”
O’Driscoll also added that he never felt any adverse effects from the use of painkillers but that if you asked him further on in his life he might say differently.
“I wouldn’t change a whole lot, now . . . I haven’t felt any adverse effects. Ask me at 75 and see what the state of my insides are like. I didn’t take so many Difene that I’m concerned but there would be players out there taking them every single day, that can’t be good for you. “