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Respected prop admits positive test to banned drug

Respected prop admits positive test to banned drug

One of Australia's most respected rugby league players has admitted testing positive for a banned substance and escaping sanction for it in 2001.
Shane Webcke, the Brisbane Broncos prop who retired after the club's National Rugby League grand final win over Melbourne last Sunday, made the admissions in a biography set for release Wednesday.
In an extract from "Warhorse: Life, Football and Other Battles" published in Sydney's Daily Telegraph newspaper, Webcke said he tested positive for probenecid after a match against North Queensland in February 2001.
The National Rugby League, together with the Australian Sports Drug Agency, accepted that Webcke had been prescribed the drug _ banned because it can be used as a masking agent for anabolic steroids _ to treat a serious knee infection.
"I could see this blowing up to become a huge public controversy, with me pinned like a rabbit in the headlights ... and with the mud sticking," Webcke is quoted saying. "It was shattering."
The Australian and Queensland representative prop said the NRL and ASDA accepted that the doctor's failure to register the probenecid prescription as an innocent mistake, Webcke said.
The positive test was not made public.
Webcke's case came a month earlier than Australian rugby union winger Ben Tune tested positive to the same drug, also to aid recovery of a knee injury.
When Tune's positive test was announced a year later, the winger was stood down for several matches. Although the Australian Rugby Union successfully lobbied to ensure that Tune was not banned by the International Rugby Board.
Tune and his doctor said they did not know that probenecid was banned by the IRB.


Updated : 2021-07-25 21:52 GMT+08:00