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Former New Zealand fly-half Dan Carter disappointed by media frenzy

Published 19/10/2016

New Zealand World Cup winner and current Racing 92 fly-half Dan Carter
New Zealand World Cup winner and current Racing 92 fly-half Dan Carter

Former New Zealand fly-half Dan Carter has spoken of his disappointment at having to defend himself "when you've done nothing wrong."

World Cup winner Carter, along with Racing 92 team-mates Joe Rokocoko and Juan Imhoff, have been cleared of anti-doping breaches by the French Rugby Federation.

A report had claimed traces of steroids showed up in drugs tests taken by the trio following last season's Top 14 final in Barcelona.

French sports newspaper L'Equipe had reported that "traces of corticosteroids" - which are used to help reduce inflammation - were found in the urine samples given by the Racing players to the French anti-doping agency.

Carter, Rokocoko and Imhoff maintained their innocence throughout and were defended by their club, whose position has been vindicated by the FFR's verdict.

And speaking to the Le Monde newspaper on Wednesday, Carter said: "We knew we had done nothing wrong. We knew that was going to be the answer.

"I guess the process has been a little bit disappointing, how it's been dragged out through the media.

"It's been tough because there's been confidential information being leaked. It's disappointing to have to try and defend yourself when you've done nothing wrong.

"You know, I hold my integrity and the game (of) rugby's integrity in the highest regard.

"Obviously, I respect the authorities that help keep the game clean. I would never do anything intentionally to put the game into disrepute. It's nice to get the decision and be able to move on and do what I love, and that's play rugby."

Carter continued: "When you have an injury, you take procedures to cure that injury, within the anti-doping regulations, of course.

"Obviously, the reason for me taking, which I explained to the medical hearing that we had, was that I played the (Top 14) semi-final against Clermont. The next day I had inflammation in my knee.

"I had the injection. I rested for two days. And then after that rest I was fit to play, and I played. And I can't see a problem with that because that's all within the regulations. When you have an injury, you get your injury cured.

"I'm not sure what the debate is. I was a little surprised at the amount of media created.

"Back home in New Zealand they saw the story, they've seen that I hadn't broken any doping regulations. And after 24 hours there was no longer a story.

"It seemed to drag on here in France. I don't really know why because I don't read the papers or listen to the news, so I don't really know anything about the debate, but I was a little surprised how long it's gone on for compared to back home in New Zealand."

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