‘I am stunned’: Bok coach Nienaber ‘disturbed’ by drug allegations

Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber and captain Siya Kolisi said they were stunned by allegations of recreational doping levelled at the squad just hours before their important Rugby Championship win over Argentina in Buenos Aires.

The SA Rugby Mag website published an article on Saturday claiming that SA Rugby was trying to legally stop a story that was to be published by a Sunday publication detailing the allegations.

This led to SA Rugby releasing a statement just before the match denying all the allegations, while Nienaber questioned the timing in his post-match press conference.

“From my side it was quite disturbing, especially the timing of it, five hours before a big Test match like this,” Nienaber said.

“It’s a semifinal, you know. I am literally stunned that allegations like that can be made about this team.

“We are tested regularly just like any other team, sometimes three times a week when we are in South Africa, and there hasn’t been a single positive test since we’ve been together this whole year. So it was really disappointing.”

‘It was tough’

Kolisi admitted that the players were aware of the allegations and had to shake that off and put all their focus on the match against Argentina, which they were able to do as they picked up a bonus-point win.

“We told ourselves as a group that we had to pitch up for the game and everything else would be looked after, but it was tough for us as a group,” the skipper said.

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“At the end of the day the people who support us were behind us and all they want to see is results.

“That’s what we wanted to do. We just want to make our people proud at home and the rest we will deal with in due course. I don’t know of any player that has been told that he has tested positive.”