South African Rugby

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Up Wexford
Bookworm
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South African Rugby

Post by Up Wexford »

I see Chilliboy Ralepelle has been banned for 8 years for anabolic steroid use. Doping is sport is a pet topic of mine, it'd be great to bounce a few ideas off people and to read other opinions on this!

From a quick look at the headline it seems he was using zeranol, it certainly isn't something we would come across here in Ireland so with a bit of googling it seems it is an anabolic steroid used to bulk up cattle, sold under the brand name Ralgro in the US and RSA (www.ralgro.com for a good giggle at what this guy is injecting into his body.) Zeranol is a estrogen analog and I am 99% sure its use in the EU is banned due to the potential for anabolic steroid use in cattle to cause cancer in humans. RSA (and USA) have different and in some cases more lax laws around this so it would make sense that it would be available in South Africa and very difficult to get in Europe.

Using zeranol in humans is quite interesting. There would be very little, if any clinical research on it at all. Certainly in Ireland, the experts who would use anabolic steroids in humans for very specific and/or niche conditions, for example consultant oncologists or consultant endocrinologists, would not use it, which would lead one to believe that zeranol use was pioneered specifically by "recreational" users, for sport performance or bodybuilding. All of which is to say that zeranol is not your entry level anabolic steroid like testosterone but would be far more likely to be used an administered by someone with a long history of PED use, and comfortable with managing its side effects, cycling dosages etc. Like any endeavour really this would require support, reliable people to import the product, other experts to share ideas, a proper network essentially, which I think is ably provided by South African Rugby.

While I would have a low opinion of drug users in sport I am fascinated by it and I wish more dopers would be honest and feel free to tell us exactly what is happening, (a la Lance/Landis and cycling) - it seems far more interesting. We all know about Craven week in South Africa, and the advantage of underage/untested drug use is you can put on all the massive muscle gains over the course of a few months, cycle off the drugs, and in theory with proper training maintain your freakish musculature for years to come (see: Etzbeth). Using a pejorative term like rotten is unhelpful when trying to get PED users to talk but i think it is common knowledge that South African Rugby is rotten in terms of PED use and I think we would all benefit from looking at this inquisitively and with our eyes wide open.

What I do find very unusual in all this is that Chiliboy Ralepelle and Aphiwe Dyanti are both very high profile, non Afrikaans players who have been pinged and all of the white/Afrikaans players who participate in the very same system have (of the top of my head) not been caught or sanctioned. Unfortunately when analysing certain topics in RSA race relations must always be considered.
*edit. Gerbrandt Grobler obviously. My point re Dyanti and Ralepelle is clunky, I would be happy to discuss it and retract it if needs be

Up Wexford
Bookworm
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Re: South African Rugby

Post by Up Wexford »

https://www.irishtimes.com/sport/rugby/ ... -1.4292820

Hahah looks like Cummiskey got there first and summarised the above far more succintly!

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hugonaut
Shane Jennings
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Re: South African Rugby

Post by hugonaut »

Up Wexford wrote:
July 1st, 2020, 2:10 pm
I see Chilliboy Ralepelle has been banned for 8 years for anabolic steroid use. Doping is sport is a pet topic of mine, it'd be great to bounce a few ideas off people and to read other opinions on this!
Very interesting post. Just for the sake of clarity here, if I refer to South African rugby I am excluding elements like women's rugby, mini rugby and rugby to approximately U15s level – they all part of South African rugby, but not [to my mind] associated with PED use.

That said, South African rugby seems to have a culture where doping is – on the scale of attitudes in world rugby – relatively tolerated. I am more suspicious of South African players than I am of players from other countries. I think that most people are familiar with the fact that there are positive tests at Craven week every year, numbers as below.

2014: 3 positive tests
2015: 5 "
2016: 4 "
2017: 3 "
2018: 6 "

[source: https://www.rugbyworld.com/news/doping- ... tail-97039 ].

Given that there are 20 teams at Craven week, and you are talking about schoolboys, those are massive numbers. In 2018, as the article states, they performed 122 tests on approximately 450 players and got 6 positives. The best case scenario is that they caught all 6 PED users in those 122 tests, and the worst case scenario is if they had tested all 450 players they would have got a proportional amount of positives, i.e. 22 players out of 450. At schoolboy level.

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neiliog93
Shane Horgan
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Re: South African Rugby

Post by neiliog93 »

With cycling on and off steroids, masking agents, 'designer' steroids etc., the flaws inherent with tests, it is not very difficult to pass a test even as a doper. I would say the real numbers of South African kids doing gear is far higher.

It is amazing how in denial and defensive South Africans are about the issue. They accuse anyone who points it out of jealousy and try to make the claim that they're actually some sort of genetically superior race by pointing to Dutch height stats etc. The Dutch might have a tall average height but I lived there for a year and never saw any jacked 110-130kg 17-yr olds!
"This is breathless stuff.....it's on again. Contepomi out to Hickie,D'Arcy,Hickie.......................HICKIE FOR THE CORNER! THAT IS AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

FLIP
Rhys Ruddock
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Re: South African Rugby

Post by FLIP »

neiliog93 wrote:
July 3rd, 2020, 10:44 pm
With cycling on and off steroids, masking agents, 'designer' steroids etc., the flaws inherent with tests, it is not very difficult to pass a test even as a doper. I would say the real numbers of South African kids doing gear is far higher.

It is amazing how in denial and defensive South Africans are about the issue. They accuse anyone who points it out of jealousy and try to make the claim that they're actually some sort of genetically superior race by pointing to Dutch height stats etc. The Dutch might have a tall average height but I lived there for a year and never saw any jacked 110-130kg 17-yr olds!
Having worked over there a lot, they're tall but they're also thin.
Anyone But New Zealand

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neiliog93
Shane Horgan
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Re: South African Rugby

Post by neiliog93 »

FLIP wrote:
July 4th, 2020, 12:24 pm
neiliog93 wrote:
July 3rd, 2020, 10:44 pm
With cycling on and off steroids, masking agents, 'designer' steroids etc., the flaws inherent with tests, it is not very difficult to pass a test even as a doper. I would say the real numbers of South African kids doing gear is far higher.

It is amazing how in denial and defensive South Africans are about the issue. They accuse anyone who points it out of jealousy and try to make the claim that they're actually some sort of genetically superior race by pointing to Dutch height stats etc. The Dutch might have a tall average height but I lived there for a year and never saw any jacked 110-130kg 17-yr olds!
Having worked over there a lot, they're tall but they're also thin.
Exactly. This is only a personal anecdote, but I am a committed (but by no means particularly impressive) gym-goer, and I rarely saw anyone bigger than me during my year in Holland, but even in Dublin would see a few when walking down any busy street.

The other common South African riposte to doping accusations is to indirectly concede that they have a doping problem, but then say that it's the same everywhere else, and their guys are bigger because they're genetically superior. There is of course doping in all rugby countries, but the drugs are much more readily available in their less regulated pharmaceutical industry, and there is a notably greater cultural acceptance/encouragement of use of anabolics in SA than in other rugby countries. Thus, the overall rate of use, and systemic encouragement of it, is a much bigger problem in SA than elsewhere.
"This is breathless stuff.....it's on again. Contepomi out to Hickie,D'Arcy,Hickie.......................HICKIE FOR THE CORNER! THAT IS AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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ronk
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Re: South African Rugby

Post by ronk »

Not a fan of the walking down the street test. Saw loads of really built lads in Glasgow and Poland. Probably none of them had played any rugby.

In SA more of the big guys play rugby. SA exports a huge huge amount of rugby players. Many fringe rugby players here would make more money by quitting and getting a longer term career. Doesn't mesh with taking drugs.

If you're thinking of solid cash in Europe then you might be taking more risks.

Up Wexford
Bookworm
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Re: South African Rugby

Post by Up Wexford »

Mindset seems to be big thing. If doping is as commonplace as all the evidence suggests, a drug user should feel 5 or ten per cent safer to come forward at least. The strict denials and lying in the face of evidence is common across all sports and cultures, not just South Africa. Whenever I have "delicately " brought it up with a SA fan the always come back with some version of Ireland are cr@p at rugby instead of any look at their team :lol: :lol:

The Craven week numbers are gas. I'm not actually familiar with the tournament, and it has far more positive attributes to it than the negatives of drug use. From a glance it seems a great talent mine, a prestigious high quality tournament, and Dr Danie Craven who it is named after it is a genuinely impressive guy, again from what limited knowlege I have of him from Stephen Jones' writing. I think it would be helpful for players to come forward with their experiences there to give us on the outside a clearer view of how it all works.

And I think doping can only get you so far.. you cant take a pill to make you slot the ball better like Steyn or Jannie De Beer or become a better lineout tactician like Matfield. But because rugby is so physical, especially nowadays, your doping gains would be more effective in rugby.

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