No way out for Wendell




The International Rugby Board will appeal any “lenient” ARU sentence handed to Wendell Sailor on the grounds that the IRB adheres to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) code under which athletes who test positive for illegal substances such as cocaine face a mandatory two-year ban.

The ARU has stated repeatedly this week that it is following a strict protocol with regards to Sailor’s test results; it is only Sailor, at this stage, who can decide whether to inform the public if he tested positive for cocaine use. As rumours and opinions circulate, Sailor will undoubtedly be exploring all his legal options and the career ramifications while he has time. Monday is the latest he can appeal, within the 10-day time frame.

According to a Sydney Morning Herald article the IRB has recently appealed a sentence handed down to English junior player, Jason Keyter, who tested positive for cocaine and was banned by the RFU for one year. Keyter was banned for just one year, not two, due to his previously unblemished track record.

The IRB has appealed the one-year suspension in the Court of Arbitration for Sport on the grounds that “good behaviour shouldn’t apply in anti-doping cases.” Sailor, who doesn’t have a record of good behaviour to fall back on, with a number of misdemeanours over his professional career in rugby and league may not have to worry about an IRB appeal at any rate.

Given that Sailor hasn’t loudly protested his innocence this week, could his fans and detractors soon hear that the 31-year-old has finally overstepped the mark? If this turns out to be the case, with most other rugby playing nations and rugby codes being signatories to WADA, Dell’s only chance of playing on could be as a running back in the United States’ NFL. In the NFL recreational drugs are treated much less harshly and it takes three violations of performance enhancing or band substances to be suspended for one season, the first violation earning only a four match suspension.

As reported in rugbyenews.com

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