Japan Rugby Top League 2020 Illegal Drug Testing Conducted

As previously reported, the arrests for drug offences occurred in more than one clubs within the same year resulted in the Japan Rugby Top League (JRTL) to suspend Round 9, 7v(already postponed) and 10 of 2020 season for thoroughgoing commitment to compliance. JRTL has recently conducted illegal drug testing for all Top League players in parallel with pursuing the integrity and thoroughgoing compliance education during this suspension period.

Report on Japan Rugby Top League 2020 Illegal Drug Testing

■ Illegal Drug Testing Results

JRTL has conducted illegal drug testing (saliva test) for all players belonging to the Top League, on Thursday, March 26th. The results are as follows;

Total Number of Targeted Players Number of Tested Players Number of Untested Players(*1) Testing Rate Test Results Negative Rate
884 692 192 78% Negative: 692 100%

*1 Players who did not take the drug testing on the day are those who could not make themselves available due to unavoidable circumstances such as returning their home countries or poor health.

To secure the neutrality and objectivity of the testing, it was conducted without advance notice to the players and a lawyer was present on-site as a witness at each testing site.

For those who were not available on the day (players who could not submit to the testing due to unavoidable circumstances such as returning their home countries and poor health), JRTL will ensure to conduct another testing without advance notice before the next league matches start.

■ Current Efforts for Compliance Education

We asked each of the 16 Top League clubs to cooperate in conducting of the above-mentioned testing as well as providing a document to prove their completion of the following three designated efforts. On Wednesday, April 1st, all 16 Top League clubs successfully submitted the documents. JRTL has also required the clubs to continuously work on these efforts for their players who could not take the testing due to the above-mentioned reason;

1)           Re-enforcing of the compliance / conducting a session to     re-raise awareness on compliance requirements

2)           Individual hearing by club

3)           Measures to pursue integrity (*2)

              *2 Details of the measures may differ from club to club.

■ Japan Rugby Top League Chairman, Osamu Ota said;

We have taken the fact that some Top League players have violated the law seriously and decided to suspend the competition for the purpose of restoring the entire league’s health. We apologize again for causing inconveniences and concerns to our fans and related parties during the suspension period.

JRTL is pleased to report that we successfully conducted all measures under the understanding and cooperation of all Top League clubs and players to further pursuit integrity and perform thorough compliance education.

Meetings and interviews were conducted by each club with additional individual efforts while JRTL conducted a league-wide drug testing with a third-party witness. We obtained 100% negative as the test result and now the results prove the league’s innocence. JRTL will continue to approach to  conduct the rest of testing, and complete the thorough compliance education for players who had to return to their home countries due to the recent coronavirus outbreak, have not responded or have not been taken the test due to poor physical condition.

Japan Rugby Top League and the league clubs will work together to continue the compliance education, including workshops and unannounced testing, aiming to make our Top League deserved as the pinnacle league in Japan and to build a strong relationship of trust with our fans.