Matt Proudfoot defends ‘serious drug testing’ of the Springboks

South Africa forwards coach Matt Proudfoot has insisted that the Springboks are subject to “serious testing” in the wake of Aphiwe Dyantyi’s positive drugs test.

Matt Proudfoot wants the spotlight to fall on the Springboks onfield prowess despite Aphiwe Dyantyi, inset, failing a drug test. Picture: Getty.

Lions and Springboks wing Dyantyi could face a four-year ban after both his A and B urine samples last month returned positive results for multiple anabolic steroids and metabolites.

The Springboks will open their World Cup bid by facing defending champions New Zealand in Yokohama on Saturday, but assistant coach Proudfoot has been forced into a defence of the drugs testing received by his team.

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“We are tested weekly, probably six to eight players are tested on an off-day every week prior to the camps that we’ve been on, right the way through the Super Rugby championship,” said Proudfoot, a former prop who played for both Edinburgh and Glasgow Warriors and won four caps for Scotland.

“I understand why the narrative is there, I’m just saying I don’t have the data to be able to comment on that.

“If you ask me about scrums and lineouts and the game against New Zealand I could comment on that, but I’m not someone who gathers data. We have a serious medical team in place in SA rugby that monitors that.

“Serious testing is done of this team, and that’s the team I’m responsible for.”

Asked if drugs testing is working, Proudfoot continued: “It has to be working, that’s a world sport issue.

“It’s been proven in athletics, the testing mechanism to keep sport clean.”

Dyantyi won World Rugby’s rising star award at the World Rugby Awards in December, earning acclaim for bursting on to the Test scene with a threatening mix of pace, power and sharp finishing. But now the 25-year-old could be staring down the barrel of an international career in tatters.

Forwards coach Proudfoot was loath to discuss the issue yesterday, but insisted the Springboks’ rugby ought to be judged by events on the field.

Asked if South African rugby has a doping problem he added: “I’m a forwards coach mate, that’s something for administrators to answer on.

“I wouldn’t be able to answer that question; I don’t have the information to answer that question. If you ask me something about the game specifically I can answer that, but that’s for administrators.

“I think the image of South African rugby is portrayed about what you see on the field. We’re a competitive nation. If you look at from our Sevens team competing on the world stage, our junior side third in the world, the Springboks competing well, the women’s team too.

“So that’s the image of South African rugby that needs to be attained.

“Of course doping in sport is something that needs to be continually addressed.”