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Response to: ‘The search for size: a doping risk factor in adolescent rugby’
  1. Clint Readhead
  1. Correspondence to Clint Readhead, Medical Department, South African Rugby Union, SARU House, 163 Uys Krige Drive, Tygerberg Park, Cape Town 7900, South Africa; clintr{at}

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I read the editorial,1 ‘The search for size: a doping risk factor in adolescent rugby’, with interest. I agree with the general message of the editorial suggesting that the importance of size in the professional and the international game may prompt schoolboy rugby players to use muscle-building substances such as anabolic androgenic steroids to expedite their growth. I also support the notion of a long-term multidimensional player development approach to counter the risk of adolescent players doping to increase their size.

However, I feel that the data representing anabolic androgenic steroid use by South African schoolboy rugby players was misleading.

The statement, “12 of the 52 South African schoolboy rugby players recently returned positive tests for using anabolic androgenic steroids,” was backed up by a reference2 in the editorial. However, this reference does not have any contextual information about …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.