The rugby world has been rocked by French media reports that Dan Carter, Joe Rokocoko and Juan Imhoff all failed drugs tests.
French newspaper L’Equipe, one of the most respected sports publications worldwide and a long-time leader in the battle for clean sport, says that the high-profile trio all returned traces of steroids in recent urine tests.
The doping controls were carried after their club Racing 92 beat Toulon in France’s Top 14 final, a game which came shortly after their first-ever European Champions Cup win.
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New Zealand out-half Carter is rated as one of the greatest players ever to play the game while his All Blacks team mate Rokocoko has been a try-scoring machine for most of his career.
Imhoff is an Argentina international and he moved from the wing to play scrum-half in the Top 14 final after Racing were reduced to 14 men following Maxime Machenaud’s red card.
The game took place in front of 90,000 fans at Barcelona’s Nou Camp stadium in Spain, but the test carried out by French authorities was permitted by a bilateral agreement between the countries.
Former Ireland out-half Ronan O'Gara is Carter's kicking coach at Racing 92. Ireland Number 10 Jonathan Sexton was Carter's predecessor at the Paris club.