By Gary Anderson

July 30 - RWC Sevens DrugsA record 133 doping tests were carried out at last month's Rugby World Cup Sevens in Moscow, with every one returning a negative result, it was announced today.

The national anti-doping agency of Russia (RUSADA) was contracted as the sample collection authority for the tournament, and it carried out 99 urine tests and collected 34 blood samples during the three days of competition in Moscow from June 28 to 30, a 66 per cent increase in testing from the last tournament in Dubai.

In addition to the testing, an education programme was put in place during the event in the Russian capital, which saw each of the 480 participating players receive a copy of the International Rugby Board (IRB) anti-doping handbook, which has been translated into nine languages.

Players and team management also had the opportunity to learn more about the dangers and consequences of doping by completing the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) interactive online quiz in the presence of the IRB anti-doping team in Moscow.

IRB chairman Bernard Lapasset says that rugby must remain vigilant regarding drug testingIRB chairman Bernard Lapasset warns rugby must remain vigilant regarding drug testing

"Today's figures are proof of the hard work that is being carried out by the IRB anti-doping team," said IRB chairman Bernard Lapasset.

"Education is the key to preventing doping in our sport and it's clear to see that the Keep Rugby Clean message is getting through to more and more players around the world.

"While these results are positive news, we cannot afford to become complacent and we must remain vigilant to the constant threat of doping in sport."

The IRB also revealed that a total of 1,117 tests were carried out on sevens players across all regions in the 18 months prior to the Rugby World Cup Sevens which returned a total of 10 anti–doping rule violations.

The most severe punishments resulting from these violations saw Russian Andrey Kosarev receive a lifetime ban from the sport for drugs possession, trafficking and administration while Bogdan Zhulavsky of the Ukraine was handed a four-year ban for tampering with samples.

New Zealands men celebrate their 2013 Rugby World Cup Sevens triumph in MoscowNew Zealand's men celebrate their 2013 Rugby World Cup Sevens triumph in Moscow

"In the run-up to the Rugby World Cup Sevens we invested significant resources for out-of-competition testing," said IRB Anti-Doping Manager for Testing and Education Ilaria Baudo.

"It is just as important to maintain testing before competitions start as it is during the tournament.

"We're very happy that all our tests during RWC Sevens returned negative results for banned substances and it's further proof that our anti-doping education policy is working well."

Rugby sevens is due to make its Olympic debut at the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

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