The ARU has terminated Wallabies winger Wendell Sailor’s contract after he was found guilty of taking cocaine. He has been suspended for two years.
This ban is valid for both rugby union and league, as both codes acknowledge bans handed down in either form of the game. At 32, Sailor’s career is almost certainly over.
The decision was made on Friday by an independent Judicial Committee who informed Sailor and the ARU that the Wallabies and Waratahs player is out for the next two years. Sailor’s national contract was originally due to expire at the end of 2007.
ARU Managing Director and CEO Gary Flowers has commented for the first time, vilifying Sailor’s actions.
“Australian Rugby condemns the use of performance enhancing drugs and doping practices in sport.Â The use of any illegal drug is contrary to the ethical concepts of sportsmanship, fair play, good medical practice and is potentially harmful to the health of the individual.
“We also reject the arguments of those who claim we have no right to be testing for so-called ‘recreational drugs’.Â There is no such thing as recreational drugs, these drugs are illegal, they are harmful to the people using them and they are not acceptable for use by our sportsmen and women.
“Australian Rugby will not accept people in their playing ranks who are not good role models for the children of Australia.”
After 37 Tests for Australia, it is a sad ending to illustrious career of a top sportsman. But Flowers was less sympathetic, saying that Sailor brought this all on himself. Â
“Wendell Sailor has tested positive to a metabolite of cocaine which is a prohibited substance under the WADA code.His actions have been nothing short of irresponsible. He already had a track record for poor behaviour which had seen him called in front of ARU and Wallaby team Disciplinary Committees on several previous occasions.”
Flowers did let up to remind the public that the ARU does appreciate what he did for rugby on the park.Â
“On the field, Wendell has been a great competitor with an outstanding work ethic, and his 37 Test caps are a great achievement. He has also been involved in charity and community work. However he has now let himself down, as well as letting down his NSW Waratahs team mates and Australian fans,” said Flowers.
Sailor has the right to appeal this decision, but it is yet to be confirmed whether he will do so.