B-sample clears All Black of doping

Patrick Tuipulotu (Getty Images)
Patrick Tuipulotu (Getty Images)

Wellington - All Blacks lock Patrick Tuipulotu has been "fully exonerated" of doping after his B-sample came up clean, New Zealand Rugby said on Thursday.

Tuipulotu's provisional suspension was immediately lifted after the second sample was examined at a World Anti-Doping Agency-accredited laboratory in the United States.

"This is an important and welcomed conclusion for both Patrick and for rugby," NZR chief Steve Tew said.

"We are pleased that a robust process has been undertaken, and that he has been fully cleared."

Tuipulotu returned to New Zealand before the All Blacks' Test against France on their northern hemisphere tour last November, for what was then described as "personal reasons".

But it emerged this week that the 24-year-old had been provisionally suspended after a doping test revealed a "specified substance" on WADA's banned list.

New Zealand Rugby Players' Association chief Rob Nichol said it was unclear why there was a discrepancy between Tuipulotu's A and B samples.

"This is a matter that SMRTL (the US laboratory) is investigating and we look forward to their feedback," he said.

Tuipulotu, who has played 12 Tests and is signed with NZR until the end of the 2019 season, said the episode had been "incredibly stressful" but he was glad the truth had come out.

"I'm pleased the matter is now closed, with my reputation and integrity intact, and I look forward to getting back into training and an exciting year of rugby," he said.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
loading... Live
West Bromwich Albion 0
Liverpool 0
Voting Booth
What is your favourite sport to watch on TV?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
40% - 14089 votes
13% - 4373 votes
19% - 6558 votes
3% - 902 votes
1% - 341 votes
2% - 811 votes
5% - 1764 votes
9% - 2973 votes
3% - 1221 votes
Water sports
1% - 320 votes
American sports
1% - 433 votes
3% - 1167 votes