Scorpions players receive anti-drugs lecture

South Wales Scorpions received an anti-doping lecture on Monday evening in preparation for their opening Co-operative Championship 1 fixture against Workington Town this Sunday at The Gnoll in Neath.

The Scorpions are Wales’ newest professional rugby league side and as such, needed to prepare for this game by knowing exactly what kind of medicines and stimulants are accepted or not in sport and how exactly to combat the use of performance enhancing and recreational drugs. 

Ian Gibbons, South Wales Scorpions’ strength and conditioning coach, says that it was vital for the young Welsh players to have this lecture before they stepped on the field this Sunday.

“There are lot of myths and misinformation out there,” said Gibbons, “So it’s important that we had the information directly from the experts. It was good for the players and it was certainly beneficial for the club as a whole. We all got a lot out of it.

“When a player is tested for drugs, he is tested against performance enhancing and recreational drugs. The players need to know what they are being tested for and the procedures around drug testing in sport. All players and staff need to know exactly what’s required of them. It’s also all about building a partnership with the anti-doping testers and not working against them.”

Scorpions’ Welsh international centre Christiaan Roets commented on how useful he found the lecture.

“It was quite scary in a way because I wasn’t aware that certain cough medicines and things like that could contain supplements that you can’t take,” he said. “By not having this education, you might take something that is performance enhancing without knowing it. We heard that for one guy it cost him his Olympic medal just because he’d bought a nasal spray in another country that looked identical to the one he normally takes. That must have hit hard.”
Dean Hardman, the Operations Manager at the Rugby Football League conducted the lecture, which was filmed by Sky Sports for transmission on their “Boots N All” programme to highlight how the RFL are conducting their campaign regarding anti-doping in sport.

“The RFL deliver the 100% Me Education Campaign that was developed by the UK Anti-Doping in Sport,” he said. “We deliver this to players across the country at all levels at all the professional clubs so it’s important that our players understand the anti-doping regulations, are informed and educated and can make the right choices.

“It was very important that the South Wales Scorpions players received this lecture before their first game at The Gnoll this Sunday. You can’t do anti-doping education too soon, so we have to make sure that the players were educated and pre-season time is a fantastic time to do this.”

The RFL’s anti-doping education strategy is fully downloadable as a PDF file at and information can also be found at the website

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