Paul Kimmage Launches Stinging Attack On Rugby Players


Rugby journalist Paul Kimmage has issued stinging attack on rugby claiming that the majority of professional players are ‘cowards’ for failing to address the issue of painkilling injections in the sport.

The topic came under the spotlight last week when it was discovered that Racing 92 players Dan Carter, Joe Rokocoko and Juan Imhoff had traces of cortisone in their urine samples taken after their win in the Top 14 final last season.


Racing 92 have since come out and stated that the players used the injections to treat injuries and that there is nothing untoward about them, revealing that a TUE exemption was granted. The whole story has the rugby world talking however, as to whether or not players should be allowed these exemptions in order to get through a pain barrier.


Kimmage was speaking on the Last Word with Matt Cooper yesterday and launched a scathing attack on the players. He was first played a clip by Paul O’Connell who suggested that he believes the rule is not being abused, stating that,

Paul Kimmage might not think that you should even take a paracetamol’

Kimmage responded to the comment which sparked him into a stinging attack.

“He totally misrepresents my position on the use of painkillers,” Kimmage said.

“If Paul O’Connell has a headache, by all means Paul, take a paracetamol. The point I made, and what I’m totally against, rugby players are taking paracetamol and taking painkillers not because they have a headache. They are using it in anticipation of the pain.

“In anyone’s language, that is performance enhancing. That is using a drug to enhance your performance.”


Kimmage then went on to reference Ronan O’Gara’s piece in the Sunday Independent.

“Ronan O’Gara made some really interesting points in the Sunday Independent with Brendan Fanning,” Kimmage said.

“He is the only one who has lifted his head. My problem with rugby players is, I have 44 rugby autobiographies at home and the world ‘doping’ never appears in any of them.”


Kimmage then went even further by producing an editorial written by host Matt Cooper in 1998, highlighting the doping problem that exists in rugby before going on to further his scathing attack on rugby professionals

That was 1998,” Kimmage said.

“Does anybody think that problem has disappeared? It was there in 1998 and it has disappeared? What I would ask of Paul [O’Connell] and it is the only criticism I would make of him, I think he is a tremendous man.

“He and all the other players who play the game have a responsibility to the game and to all of the kids who are coming after them, to voice concerns about the issues now that are affecting the health of players. There is a real serious debate to be had on those issues.

“Rugby is a game with fantastic physical courage but like cycling it is played by guys with no moral courage at all. They are actually cowards. Until one player stands up – there was one, Laurent Benezech, who stood up and said this game has serious problems and he was hammered for it. The omerta in rugby is every bit as bad as it was in cycling. Until the players actually stand up for themselves and for their own health, somebody is going to get hurt.”

Does Kimmage have a point? ‘[Independent]

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