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ARU terminates Wendell Sailor’s Contract

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The Australian Rugby Union (ARU) has terminated Wendell Sailor’s contract after he was found guilty by an independent Judicial Committee of taking a prohibited substance and suspended for two years.


The independent Judicial Committee, comprising John Gleeson QC (Chairman), Peter Garling SC and Dr Jeffrey Steinweg, informed Wendell Sailor and the ARU of its decision this morning.


Until today the ARU has been legally unable to comment on Sailor’s case because of strict confidentialityprotocols in the ARU’s Anti-Doping By-Laws.


However with the Judicial Committee’s decision now handed down, ARU Managing Director and CEO Gary Flowers has commented for the first time.


“Wendell Sailor’s behaviour has been extremely disappointing and we have no hesitation in terminating his contract.”


Wendell Sailor’s contract was due to expire at the end of 2007. 


“Australian Rugby condemns the use of performance enhancing drugs and doping practices in sport.  The use of any illegal drug is contrary to the ethical concepts of sportsmanship, fair play, good medical practice and is potentially harmful to the health of the individual.


“We also reject the arguments of those who claim we have no right to be testing for so-called ‘recreational drugs’. 


“There is no such thing as recreational drugs, these drugs are illegal, they are harmful to the people using them and they are not acceptable for use by our sportsmen and women.


“Australian Rugby will not accept people in their playing ranks who are not good role models for the children of Australia. 


“Wendell Sailor has tested positive to a metabolite of cocaine which is a prohibited substance under the WADA code.


“His actions have been nothing short of irresponsible. He already had a track record for poor behaviour which had seen him called in front of ARU and Wallaby team Disciplinary Committees on several previous occasions. 


Earlier this year Wendell was sent home from South Africa by the Waratahs for an indiscretion at a nightclub.  He fronted an ARU Disciplinary Tribunal at that time as well and was suspended from playing.


“On the field, Wendell has been a great competitor with an outstanding work ethic, and his 37 Test caps are a great achievement. He has also been involved in charity and community work.


“However he has now let himself down, as well as letting down his NSW Waratah team mates and Australian Rugby fans.


“The only legitimate use of drugs in sport is under the supervision of a physician for a clinically justified purpose.


“Our anti-doping laws are made very clear to every sportsman and woman signing on with Australian Rugby Union.  Every player has this section of their contract explained to them, the players sign their contracts which include the provisions about illegal drug use and the likely sanctions resulting from their use.


“Our By-Laws allow for an appeal process but at this stage I am pleased to say that we can put this distraction behind us.  It has taken up a lot of time, time we would prefer to spend growing the game in the community, with the kids and the clubs, and promoting our Test matches,” said Mr Flowers.


The Australian Rugby Union, as part of the International Rugby Board, is a signatory to the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) and its determination of Prohibited Substances.  The Australian Government and its Australian Sports Commission have also adopted the WADA code and the ARU uses the Governmen

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