Ex-All Blacks Dan Carter and Joe Rokocoko fail drugs test, but ‘it’s all legit’
Pair test positive following Racing 92’s victory in France’s Top 14 final, but their agent says they had been granted exemptions for prescribed medication
World Rugby’s Player of the Year Dan Carter and his fellow former All Black teammate Joe Rokocoko both had exemptions for substances that caused adverse findings in a doping test four months ago, their agent has said.
French newspaper L’Equipe reported on Thursday that both Carter and Rokocoko had “anomalies” in their urine after testing around the French Top 14 final on June 24.
However, Simon Porter, who works for the players’ management company, said the pair had been granted Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs) for the prescribed medication as they recovered from injuries.
“Our understanding and assurances we’ve had are all the documents around TUEs were in place,” Porter told the New Zealand Herald newspaper.
He said the players had been aware of the findings for some time and were “relaxed” because the club doctor had filed the necessary paperwork.
L’Equipe said the players had tested positive for corticoids, which are typically used to treat inflammation or joint pain.
Their Argentinian teammate, Juan Imhoff, also tested positive.
Porter said Carter was battling a calf injury, while Rokocoko had a knee problem. The tests were done the day before the final.
Racing Metro beat Toulon 29-21 in the final, which was held at Barcelona’s Nou Camp soccer stadium because of the Euro 2016 tournament in France.
Carter is widely regarded as the best fly half to ever play the game.
The 34-year-old earned 112 tests caps for the All Blacks before his international retirement late last year following New Zealand’s successful Rugby World Cup defence in England.
Fiji-born Rokocoko was a blockbusting winger for the All Blacks from 2003-10, scoring a phenomenal 46 tries in 68 tests.
The report comes a day after All Black scrum half Aaron Smith admitted a toilet tryst with a mystery woman at a busy airport in Christchurch was a “huge mistake” – the latest scandal to hit the beleaguered New Zealand Rugby union.
It followed recent incidents involving Waikato Chiefs players and a stripper, and a promising teenage star’s violent rampage.
Additional reporting Agence France-Presse