ADVERTISEMENT
RugbyDump
REGISTER
LOGIN
ADVERTISEMENT
RugbyDump
Thursday Jan 11, 2018

Gerbrandt Grobler set for Munster debut two years after failing drugs test

Former Stormers and Western Province lock-forward Gerbrandt Grobler is in the news again this week as he looks set to make his debut for Munster against Racing 92 in Paris.

Grobler tested positive for the prohibited anabolic steroid Drostanalone after a Currie Cup game while under contract for WP in 2015, and was banned for two years – backdated to October 2014.

He joined Racing 92 in 2016 and played a season for the Parisian outfit, before being signed by Munster ahead of the 2017-18 season.

Grobler has been out of action since his arrival in Limerick last summer with an ankle injury.

His inclusion in the Munster squad has raised the issue of drug use in rugby and whether players deserve a second chance after previously using steroids.

Doping in rugby

The timing of Grobler’s potential comeback to action could not have come at a worse moment for the Rugby Union world, as news surfaced in New Zealand of four players – including a former Black Ferns and New Zealand Sevens star – receiving doping bans.

While few in the game would deny that rugby is immune to doping, the fact that Grobler admitted his guilt for using a substance that could not be interpreted in any other way than for performance enhancing benefits – Drostanalone is used ostensibly for breast cancer treatment – is a worrying sign.

Much has been made about the susceptibility of young rugby players to turn to drugs, as pressure to “bulk up” mounts from coaches.

The UK has seen a swath of young amateur players test positive for an array of steroids – Drostanalone being one of the most popular on the market – in recent years, with the situation allegedly spiralling out of control.

Fellow South African, Chiliboy Ralepelle also tested positive for the drug in 2014, while at Toulouse, and was banned for two years as well.

The press reaction

The Irish press, which has for many years led the anti-doping movement through the likes of David Walsh, Paul Kimmage and the guys at NewsTalk, have weighed in on what Grobler’s signing and subsequent participation in the Munster jersey will mean for the province.

The main talking point which has arisen from the affair has been whether or not the IRFU or Munster Rugby should have agreed to sign a player who has tested positive – and served a two-year ban – for using anabolic steroids and what message that sends to Munster’s Academy players coming up through the ranks.

Munster Rugby reaction

Munster head coach Johann van Graan has stepped in to defend Grobler and bemoaned the press criticism of what he calls “a mistake”.

“I believe life is very simple,” said van Graan. “All of us sitting here, everybody in life makes mistakes. I believe life is 10% what happens and 90% how you react to it.

“He served his ban. He’s worked really hard to get back to fitness and then in the warm-up game [against Worcester], which I saw here, he had a big injury and he had to fight his way back.

“He’s such a talented rugby player, so for him personally [he has] a lot to prove. The ban, in my view, is a long time in the past. Like I said, every person on this planet makes mistakes, it’s how we come back from them.

“He’s fought through them really well, I thought, and he’s a quality individual so we wish him well in his journey back.”

Grobler indeed accepted his guilt in taking the drugs and acknowledged his ban. By the letter of the World Anti-Doping law, he is free to resume his playing career now that his ban has been served in its entirety.

ADVERTISEMENT

Related Articles

  • 148 WEEKS AGO

    scottish prop saves fire victim

  • 152 WEEKS AGO

    New Rugby X tournament insane

  • 179 WEEKS AGO

    Vunipola stands by his comments supporting...



ADVERTISEMENT

Great Tries

  • 5 DAYS AGO

    Carlos Spencer Proves Why He Is Rugby's Greatest Ever Magician

  • 6 WEEKS AGO

    Jero De La Fuente pulls Hamstring and uses it to score incredible try

  • 6 WEEKS AGO

    Waisale Serevi: The greatest sevens player ever

  • 6 WEEKS AGO

    David Campese: The Aussie all time great

  • 7 WEEKS AGO

    The man who once raced a Cheetah: Bryan Habana

View All

Big Hits & Dirty Play

  • 2 DAYS AGO

    Controversial Etzebeth Incident Still Being Debated

  • 2 DAYS AGO

    Juan Imhoff Takes Full Power Frans Steyn Kick To The Face

  • 3 DAYS AGO

    Springbok Fans Left Reeling At Officiating Despite Convincing Win

  • 3 DAYS AGO

    Bundee Aki Shown Red Following Ludicrous Challenge

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    The Latest Tuilagi Has Just Made His Top14 Debut And Is A MONSTER

View All

See It To Believe It

  • 2 DAYS AGO

    Harlequins fans furious at refereeing decision that gives Exeter the win

  • 5 DAYS AGO

    Carlos Spencer Proves Why He Is Rugby's Greatest Ever Magician

  • 6 DAYS AGO

    Worcester name 41-year-old academy coach in tonight's premiership cup clash

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Crazy refereeing decision leads to All Blacks win

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    Speculation rife after apparent handshake snub in All Blacks coaching box

View All

Funnies

  • 4 DAYS AGO

    John Smit Shares Epic Bakkies Botha Story Highlighting Why Opponents Feared Him

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    Heart-warming drop goal competition between Foster and Reece goes viral

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    Hilarious Streaker Tries To Distract Sharp Shooting Goal Kicker

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Throwback To The Wildest Conversion In Rugby History

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    "I'd Beat Him" Quade Cooper Speaks Out On Potential Jake Paul Fight

View All

Amateur

  • 8 WEEKS AGO

    Dubious Score Decides Result Of Rugby's Biggest Schools Fixture

  • 8 WEEKS AGO

    Incredible Scenes At School Boys Rugby Match

  • 9 WEEKS AGO

    The Next Dominant Backrow?

  • 9 WEEKS AGO

    Hilarious Club House Antics Shows Rugby Spirit

  • 14 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: South African Schools Rugby Is On Fire

View All

Player Features

  • 4 DAYS AGO

    Joe Simmonds addresses lack of form in honest interview

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Rugby great Eddie Butler sadly passes away

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Graham Rowntree reacts to missing out on 2003 world cup in fascinating video

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Official: Christian Wade signs for French club

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    Etzebeth proves to be rugby's biggest thug once again

View All