News broke overnight that All Black legends Dan Carter and Joe Rokocoko, along with Argentina’s Juan Imhoff, had tested positive for the use of the steroid cortisone following an anti-doping screening at last season’s Top 14 final between Racing 92 and Toulon.
It was reported by L’Equipe that trace amounts of the steroid were identified in each player’s urine sample and that no therapeutic use exemption (TUE) was in place at the time of the test.
Now, according to the New Zealand Herald, the players’ agent, Simon Porter of the Essentially Group, has come out in defence of his players, insisting that TUEs were indeed in place and that neither Carter or Rokocoko had done anything wrong.
“We have been aware of the issue for a few weeks. Our understanding and assurances we’ve had are all the documents around TUEs were in place.”
Porter explains that the TUEs were to treat Carter for a calf injury, while Rokocoko was recovering from a knee injury.
It would appear that it now boils down to one simple question – did the medical team at Racing 92 submit the appropriate paperwork correctly and in a timely manner?
The ramifications of this anti-doping investigation could be significant, with all players involved potentially facing lengthy bans for doping violations.
However, if TUEs were in place at the time of the screening last June, this will put a swift end to any finger-pointing and raised eyebrows.
Now we wait to see what Racing 92 have to say.
Gary Brennan, Pundit Arena
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