Former Munster prop BJ Botha expressed some sympathy for the province's ex-second row Gerbrandt Grobler on a human level, saying the South African left Munster with "his head down."

Grobler, who served a two-year ban after testing positive following a Currie Cup game in October 2014, signed for Munster from Racing 92 in July 2017. 

While his signing went under the radar initially and his season was interrupted by injury, Grobler's presence in the Munster squad became highly controversial midway through the season with the IRFU eventually deciding not to renew his contract. 

Grobler joined Gloucester ahead of the 2018-19 season. 

Speaking on Game On on RTÉ2fm, Botha, who played for Munster between 2011 and 2016, said the issue wasn't handled perfectly and said it affected the player. 

"I think he'd been there for a year and then this came out. People probably knew when he was contracted that this occurred (his failed drug test). 

"I think it happened (the controversy emerged) when he was injured and I'm not sure if it was something put in the media and the guys jumped on that.

"At the end of the day his contract wasn't renewed. It was coming up to renewal and that's where the hype came.

"The protocols were there and then the decision was taken by the IRFU not to renew his contract. Of course, that's their decision. 

"But the other side of it is that Limerick's a small place, Munster's a small place. He probably left with his head down from a human perspective.

"It probably wasn't dealt with the way it should have been. 

"I think it should have been dealt with when the option came up to sign him. It didn't and then this (controversy) took place later. It became a little bit grey and the media caught onto it and the pressure ramped up."

Presenter and long-time Munster lock Donncha O'Callaghan said he was of the view that the player shouldn't have been signed but regretted that the controversy blew up halfway through the season.  

"Personally, I don't think he should have been signed. I think it was a bad call. But it did feel when he was in and halfway through his season, the lads had become friendly with him, they became tight with him.

"They believed he served his two years. They were willing to not only play with him but put their bodies on the line with the guy. They've spoken to him about how remorseful he was. 

"It became another issue where there was a young guy who was away from his family and his support network and I think that's why Munster pulled around him. And I'm quite proud why Munster pulled around him.

"Anything that cheats shouldn't be signing with Irish provinces, I don't think that should happen. But he built bonds with those players and then it was very difficult afterwards.