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Sunday 5 February 2023 Dublin: -2°C
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'I want to show them this problem that the sport has to address', says Kimmage about Irish rugby
The Rough Ride author feels that Irish rugby is ignoring a potential ‘time bomb’.

SUNDAY INDEPENDENT JOURNALIST Paul Kimmage was on The Last Word with Matt Cooper this evening talking about the possibility of performance enhancing drug use in Irish rugby.

Kimmage had a recent column in the newspaper that described his suspicions about drug use in rugby. The author of Rough Ride explained how how Laurent Benezech’s book got him thinking about supplement use in rugby and how it may be more widespread than it looks.

The 52-year-old said that people are blind to think that it doesn’t go on in Ireland like it does in France, Argentina, South Africa and England. Kimmage says he is desperate for people to confront the problem and talk about it.

“I’m asking the sport, I’m asking the people who love the sport to debate what is obvious to anyone who looks at it now, they need to have to have this debate. But so far all we have is silence.

“I had one text from someone within the rugby community and he said look, “this is a time bomb”, and for me the killer is the silence. I’ve heard this silence before.”

Supplements have always been a part of rugby but Kimmage feels that the culture has overstepped a mark, pointing out the use of supplements such as creatine at secondary school level.

“I want to show them this problem that the sport has to address. Any sport that has a supplement culture at 16, is introducing a supplement culture at 16, is on a dodgy path.”

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With the current good vibe around Irish rugby after a November series clean sweep Kimmage was asked by Cooper how he felt about the inevitable criticism he will receive for coming out with such revelations at this time. Unsurprisingly Kimmage doesn’t seem to mind.

“I’m not interested in what they want to know. What I’m going to do is pull the head out of the sand. I’m going to show them this problem that the sport has to face and has to address. It’s very interesting, you ask people who love the game would they want their kids playing rugby now.”

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