World Rugby is launching #BeYourself at Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018 in San Francisco with all 40 teams united in support of the player-focused campaign.
The global rugby family is successfully promoting and preserving a level playing field in elite rugby through a combination of robust anti-doping testing and education under the Keep Rugby Clean banner.
With rugby having one of the most engaged sporting social media communities, #BeYourself is an inclusive and positive community-driven initiative that enables players, teams and unions to own and champion clean rugby, influencing the next generation of community and elite players.
World Rugby Anti-Doping Manager Mike Earl said: “#BeYourself is about positive player empowerment and is an inclusive movement that inspires participants at all levels to share the ethos of clean sport and celebrate healthy conditioning and food-first approaches to diet and nutrition.
“Through an engaging social media campaign, #BeYourself will support players in their commitment to train, prepare and compete cleanly without prohibited, unhealthy or unnecessary enhancements.”
Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018 will see 24 men’s and 16 women’s teams competing to become world champions and players will be encouraged to sign a pledge wall to show their support for keeping rugby clean and share their approaches to clean preparation via social media.
During their down time teams will have the opportunity to relax in the #BeYourself branded player recreation area within the team hotel. All players will complete an online e-learning module and receive a #BeYourself pack including a branded training vest to support the campaign.
#BeYourself forms a part of the overarching Keep Rugby Clean programme, which is one of international sport’s best recognised and highest profile integrity brands, run in partnership with national member unions, national anti-doping agencies and the World Anti-Doping Agency.
The programme will be rolled-out across World Rugby’s suite of competitions after Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018.
The most scientific and extensive pre-event anti-doping programme for a Rugby World Cup Sevens has been undertaken on the road to San Francisco 2018 with more than 1,500 samples taken from the world’s top sevens players since July 2017.
The intelligent, risk-based programme is in addition to World Rugby’s annual testing programme and has been run in collaboration with unions, national and regional anti-doping agencies, capturing players from all participating teams.
More than 70 per cent of samples were collected out of competition, while 28 per cent of samples taken prior to the tournament were blood within a programme that included additional analysis of samples for Erythropoiesis Stimulating Agents (ESA), such as EPO, as well as for growth hormones.
The annual HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series is protected by a comprehensive risk and intelligence-led in and out of competition testing programme which focuses on participating players and ensures a level playing field. This combined with a pre-event and event testing programme conducted on all teams at the Rugby World Cup Sevens ensures that the sevens game is subjected to an extensive level of testing.