31 Mar 2017

Doping concern in professional rugby

11:01 am on 31 March 2017

Former England captain Martin Johnson believes illegal performance enhancing drugs are wide-spread in rugby.

Former England captain Martin Johnson.

Former England captain Martin Johnson. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Fourteen out of 42 athletes banned by UK Anti-Doping the in the past two years are rugby players from England and Wales.

Martin Johnson who led England to World Cup victory in 2003 said there is good reason to be worried about the increasing use of banned substances.

"When i started playing did i think anyone around the international team was using drugs? no chance."

Johnson said drugs being more avalible on the internet and the lucrative professional era has been a major contributing factor in the increase.

"People are taking them, by all account, for vanity reasons."

"Now the game is professional and we live in a different time where kids can see a livelihood and a good livelihood out of doing it, then you've got to be very careful," he said.