The Dope on Rugby

Original title: Rugby à Charges, l’enquête choc

Author: Ballester, Pierre

Publication Date:

March 2015



Original language and publisher

Territories Handled

Worldwide excl. French



The Dope on Rugby

Original title: Rugby à Charges, l’enquête choc

Author: Ballester, Pierre

  • 2 Seas Represents: World Excl French
  • English sample available!


In The Dope on Rugby, Pierre Ballester shines a bright light on the dark subject of performance-enhancing drugs in rugby, answering important questions like:

Do rugby players use performance-enhancing drugs? Yes, and they’ve been doing so for years. Taking dope is pretty much the norm, given the evolution of the game, the increasingly violent collisions and the worsening injuries.

Is the situation comparable to that of cycling in the 2000s? It’s a whole other philosophy. The “rugby spirit” is still holding out, but the phenomenon is on the rise.

Does anybody really care? Not really. And though they are the first to be sacrificed, few players actually dare sound the alarm for fear of being ostracized.

Is the code of silence infallible? It is widespread, but starting to crack.

Where is rugby heading? If no one does anything about it, straight into the wall.

About the author:

Pierre Ballester is an investigative sports journalist. He has written extensively about doping in cycling, including the famous L.A. Confidentiel (with David Walsh), which exposed the doping scandal nearly ten years before Lance Armstrong would make his confession. Ballester is also a rugby insider who has worked closely with a number of the sport’s key players. He co-directed the French Rugby Federation official magazine for a number of years and is the author of La France du rugby (Panama, 2006). He co-authored the book Cadrages et Débordements by former coach of the French national rugby team, Marc Lièvremont.