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RFU shows way on anti-doping

14 December 2006

14th December 2006 -

THE Rugby Football Union has became the first Union in world rugby to appoint a full-time Anti-Doping Officer.

Gavin Dovey, 25, will be responsible for the testing and education programme in England following his move from the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA).

RFU Competitions Manager Chris Burns said: "The fact that we are the first union to create the position of a full-time Anti-Doping Officer shows our ongoing commitment to keeping rugby drug free.

"Gavin's appointment reflects the growing importance of having a robust education and testing programme.
"He was instrumental in developing ASADA's athlete whereabouts programme and implementing an anti-doping education programme and will now be helping to ensure that we meet our Strategic Plan Objectives in this important area."

Gavin Dovey added: "The RFU have made it clear that they are serious about the fight against doping in sport and I am very excited to join a governing body so strongly committed to keeping its game clean.

"The time I spent at ASADA was invaluable and I look forward to sharing my experiences and working with the clubs, players, coaches and support personnel in ensuring successive generations of rugby players receive comprehensive anti-doping education and compete doping free."

Andy Parkinson, Drug-Free Sport Head of Operations at UK Sport, said: "This appointment is a positive move by the RFU, and sends a strong message out to the international rugby community. We look forward to working with Gavin to further evolve and improve the anti-doping programme in the English game, focusing specifically on the key areas of testing and education."

Tim Ricketts, International Rugby Board Anti-Doping Manager, added: "The only way to ensure that the Game continues to grow globally in a drug-free environment is a concerted Anti-Doping effort by the IRB and its Member Unions. The appointment of a full-time Anti-Doping Officer by the RFU demonstrates a proactive approach to an important issue and I hope that other Member Unions will follow suit."

Gavin Dovey profile

Born 08.12.1981, Sydney, Australia

Gavin was educated at Menai High School (Sydney), University of Canberra (Bachelor of Laws LLB and Bachelor of Sports Science) where he received a Half Blue for selection in the 2002 Australian University Touch Rugby team. Between 2001 and 2006 he represented the ACT at the Australian National Touch League and NSW Country in the 2005 City v Country Championship. Gavin worked as Competitions and Events Manager for various sporting clubs and state sporting associations before joining the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) in 2005. During his two years at ASADA Gavin was involved in developing and implementing a world leading athlete whereabouts program, coordinated the education and testing programmes for various sports and spent time as communications and media manager.

Note to desks
The Rugby Football Union condemns the use or distribution of prohibited substances or methods as defined or listed by the International Rugby Board and the World Anti-Doping Agency.

The RFU has a robust drug testing programme operated and co-ordinated by UK Sport and complemented by an education programme designed to make the union a world leader in anti-doping. 

The RFU domestic testing programme covers players from the Elite Playing Squad, U21s, U19 s and 7s internationals down to junior clubs and involves a minimum of  400  tests per annum.

In addition, players are tested as part of the RBS 6 Nations, Heineken Cup,  Barclays Churchill Cup, and overseas tours programmes, while the  iRB manage an international testing pool of 50, comprising 30 Senior England squad players and 20 England Sevens squad players.