Rugby Rocked By Steroid Scandal Involving Carter, Imhoff & Rokocoko


French publication L’Équipe are reporting that traces of steroids have been found in the urine of three players from reigning Top 14 champions, Racing 92.

The samples were provided after Racing’s Top 14 final victory over Toulon at the Nou Camp at the end of last season.


The three players who have reportedly tested positive are Dan Carter, Joe Rokococo and Juan Imhoff.

The key paragraphs from L’Équipe’s report read:

The first analytical results have detected abnormalities in the urine of three players of Racing. These traces of steroids are prohibited substances in competition without permission.

According to our information, these “anomalies” relate Dan Carter, Joe Rokocoko and Juan Imhoff. Three major players in this final that did not have a TUE which could have justified from a medical point of view the use of banned substances.


The New Zealand pair’s management have since come out and told the NZ Herald that they had clearance to take the banned substance under a ‘Therapeutic Use Exemption’.

Their manager, Simon Porter told the Herald that he’s known about the positive test for some while.

We have been aware of the issue for a few weeks. Our understanding and assurances we’ve had are all the documents around TUEs were in place.

Porter said that Carter had been taking medication for a calf injury. The medication was presumed to be cortisone. Rokocoko was recovering from a knee injury.

This contrasts with the L’Equipe’s report which says that the players did not have permission to use these substances under an exemption.

Here is the full statement.

We understand the stir caused by the word ‘steroid’. This word has strong emotional resonance because it may correspond to immoral and illegal behavior. It can also correspond to known, legal practices that are justified by medicine.
Its use in public should be controlled, and come with immense precaution as the damage may also leave traces if the subject was classified.

Racing 92 wants to assert with the greatest force its sporting ethics,which have nothing to do with illegal practices, we are on the side of law, ethics and love of the values of a clean sport. We do not train players, we train men. Health and morality are two cardinal requirements.

All medical procedures performed on players cited by the media have been in the full respect of national and international anti-doping rules, both in terms of administrative and medical procedures. This case relates to treatment by an authorised channel, provided in response to proven pathologies, several days before the Top 14 final and not requiring a TUE (Therapeutic Use Exemption).

Racing 92 commits to collaborating with all relevant medical investigative authorities that the debate subsides and a full understanding is brought to the knowledge of all.

All medical procedures are clear.

Transparency will be total.

We are with those who are fighting for a clean and respectful sport. Juan Imhoff, Joe Rokococo and Dan Carter are everyday examples of behavior, generosity and ethics.

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