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Carter summoned over use of corticosteroids

Racing Metro 92 New Zealand flyhalf Dan Carter and two club teammates tested positive for corticosteroids following last season’s French Top 14 final © AFP/File / Miguel Medina

PARIS, France, Jan 10 – New Zealand great Dan Carter and two other players from French side Racing 92 have been summoned to appear before the French Anti-Doping Agency (AFLD) over the use of corticosteroids.

Carter, fellow former All Black Joe Rokocoko and Argentinian winger Juan Imhoff were the target of an investigation by the medical commission of the French Rugby Federation (FFR) after testing positive for corticosteroids following last season’s domestic Top 14 final.

But the trio, as well as Racing’s medical staff, were all cleared of any wrongdoing in October.

The AFLD, however, has summoned the trio to appear at hearings — the dates of which are yet to be unveiled.

AFLD president Bruno Genevois told AFP that the dossier would be reviewed for a “possible revision of the decision” made by the FFR’s medical commission.

Newly-installed FFR president Bernard Laporte, the former Toulon and France coach, played down the significance of the summons, saying it was “not a disavowal”.

“It’s not because they think there’s a fault. On the contrary, the more transparency there is, the better.”

“They’re doing their job, they have the right to check. You can’t be scared of that. At Toulon, we were tested six times in one year.

“We have nothing to hide. They’ll get to the bottom of things.

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“They want to delve deeper, end of story. If they do it, it’s because they have their reason.”

French television channel Canal+ claimed Carter’s corticosteroid readings after the June 2016 final showed 81 nanogrammes per millilitre, with 49 for Rokocoko and 31 for Imhoff, while the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has set a limit of 30.

Corticosteroids can be used to combat pain, inflammation or allergies.

They can be taken legally or illegally, depending on the method of ingestion.

It is illegal to take corticosteroids orally or have them injected in either the blood or muscle, but they can be injected into joints or inhaled.

Even if taken in a banned manner, athletes can gain permission to do so by applying for the controversial Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE).

After being cleared by the FFR, Carter and his two clubmates were said to be taking their case to the public prosecutor after confidential medical records were made public by media.

Racing said the trio had received “totally justified medical treatment dispensed conforming to the rules”.

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