Irish writer claims Springboks' Rugby World Cup win 'tainted by steroids'

'Buff Boks'  The Springboks flaunt gym-honed physiques in photo that went viral in June.
'Buff Boks' The Springboks flaunt gym-honed physiques in photo that went viral in June. Photo credit: Twitter

An Irish writer is claiming South Africa's Rugby World Cup victory is tainted as a result of the "steroid culture" that exists within the team.

Writing for the Irish Independent, former Irish international player Neil Francis says World Rugby needs to question the Springboks' possible use of performance-enhancing drugs. 

Francis pointed to young Springboks outside back Aphiwe Dyantyi's positive result in June as evidence for this claim. 

Dyantyi faces a ban of up to four years after the three banned substances, methandienone, methyltestosterone, and ligandrol were found in his system. 

The Irish writer suggests Dyantyi may not be the only one guilty of drug use, however.

"Is Dyantyi, a poster boy for the World Cup and winner of World Rugby's young player of the year, the only one? Or the only one to be caught?" 

Predicting a hefty playing ban for Dyantyi, Francis says "the player in my view will go down, but the system stays in place. What were we saying about latitude and dispensation? Do we need to put an asterisk beside the winners of the 2019 World Cup?"

Francis says that the number of steroids found in Dyantyi's results points to a wider operation. "Maybe I have underestimated the intellectual capacity of young men in the early to mid-20s but how many of them have the capacity to self-administer on a sophisticated program of androgynous anabolic steroids?

"I would be very surprised if Dyantyi did not have someone instruct him what to do and how and when to do it." Francis writes. 

It should be noted that Francis has no evidence of widespread steroid usage within the Springboks.