We offer up to date and confidential advice regarding Anti-Doping and Illicit Drugs. Please contact Rich Elliott on 07833 048 418 or email him on dopinganddrugsadvice@dwrugby.co.uk

Working Together to Grow Rugby in Dorset and Wiltshire

RFU Anti-Doping Programme

The Anti-Doping programme complies with the World Anti-Doping Code and the World Rugby Anti-Doping Regulations.

RFU Regulation 20

WADA Anti-doping Code 2018 English

WADA Prohibited List 2018

The RFU works closely with UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) and World Rugby in the fight against doping. It conducts a comprehensive anti-doping programme, including education, intelligence gathering, testing and results management.

Here you will find information on anti-doping generally and in more specific detail for those who require it. Anti-doping information is relevant for both the elite performer and the grassroots player.

RFU Illicit Drugs Programme

The Illicit Drugs Programme is run by the RFU separate to and in isolation from the anti-doping programme. The focus is specifically on certain illicit drugs which are open to abuse in a social setting. The programme comprises an integrated three-fold approach of education, testing and sanction (as a deterrent) and counselling/treatment. It has been in operation from the start of season 2010/11.

(It should be noted that a positive test for an “illicit drug” following an in-competition test conducted under the anti-doping programme is dealt with in accordance with the anti-doping regulations to the exclusion of the illicit drugs policy).


The illicit drugs policy has been informed by models of good practice from other sports, such as the Australian Football League and National Rugby League in Australia. Work began in earnest with an Illicit Drugs Forum held at Twickenham Stadium on 15 July 2009. It was attended by key stakeholders including the RFU, PRL, RPA, Aviva Premiership clubs, UK Anti-Doping and the IRB, and the results were used to inform policy.

In essence, the RFU illicit drugs policy is a two-strike policy, meaning that for a first positive test (or first admission of use) the matter is kept confidential between the RFU illicit drugs staff, the player and his club’s medical officer. The problem is dealt with as a confidential health-related issue with the focus if appropriate on how to help the player deal with and be treated for his drug use as appropriate. Only if the player fails to comply, or commits a second violation, is the player liable to suspension and public disclosure of the reasons for his suspension.


The RFU has partnered with Alere Toxicology to deliver the collection and analysis expertise for the RFU Illicit Drugs Programme. Alere Toxicology is one of the largest providers of drug and alcohol testing in Europe. Their accredited laboratories provide legally defensible analytical services to the workplace, healthcare, criminal justice and sporting sectors. Their global collection network is regularly trained and audited, collecting over 300,000 samples in 2013 across 92 countries.

The RFU Illicit Drugs Programme is underpinned by the Illicit Drugs Policy. This policy determines how the Programme is run and operates, from education, to testing and sanction, through to treatment and rehabilitation.

The Illicit Drugs Policy can be found here