EDINBURGH and Scotland centre Matt Scott says the case of a Lothians club rugby player being banned for a drugs violation is a sharp reminder that such behaviour is “cheating” and “not worth the risk”.
On Monday, it was revealed by UK Anti-Doping that Preston Lodge prop Darren Eales had tested positive for exogenous anabolic androgenic steroids Boldenone, Trenbolone and Oxymetholone following an out-of-competition test last November. The 22-year-old has been banned from all sport for two years.
Speaking at BT Murrayfield as the national squad returned to Rugby World Cup training camp, Scott admitted the incident had been a topic of conversation.
“A few of the boys have been talking about that story that got released.
“People think you must be offered it (steroids) but there is absolutely nothing I have come across in my whole life and nobody has offered me anything.
“Guys at this level know you just can’t. It is not worth the risk. You just can’t do it. It does not cross anybody’s mind. Guys in the lower leagues sometimes think they are not going to get tested and it is not necessarily for them to enhance their rugby, they are doing it for aesthetic reasons sometimes.
“It is a shame he isn’t going to be able to play for a couple of years but it is an important lesson. It is great that the SRU and the doping authorities take such a strict policy line on it. It is unfair, it is cheating and there is no place for it in the game.”
With the game becoming more physical, there is a pressure to bulk up, but Scott is adamant that hard work is the only way to go.
He added: “My message would be that I have seen a lot of guys come into the professional game as wiry guys and, with good diet and a good training programme, they have become really good athletes. You have to mad to consider taking anything like that especially in an age when testing is more stringent and frequent.”
Scott is battling back from a shoulder injury which has prevented him from playing since Scotland’s final Six Nations match against Ireland. He missed the trip to the French Pyrennees but is now looking at the first warm-up Test against the Irish in Dublin a month today.
“It is a realistic target” said the 24-year-old.