THE SUBJECT OF doping in rugby has been hotly debated over the last few days after journalist Paul Kimmage wrote an article saying that perhaps it is more widespread in the sport than players, coaches and fans would like to admit.

Many people in the game have since responded, with Leinster’s Jamie Heaslip expressing satisfaction with the current anti-doping guidelines.

Last night Ronan O’Gara was a guest on RTE Radio’s Game On and he was blunt on what he felt the punishment should be for offenders. He also spoke about the example of underage player Sam Chalmers, son of Scottish international Craig, who was given a two year ban for taking a banned substance.

O’Gara thinks it’s important that young players get the message about the perils of doping.

“There’s fellas breaking their arse day in and day out naturally and if there are some cheats in there then they need to be given lifetime bans,” O’Gara said.

While O’Gara says he never saw doping firsthand during his career, there was always a bit of dressing room gossip swirling around about various players.

“There has always been whispers about during the 15 or 16 years that I played the game that so-and-so was maybe on this or that,” O’Gara said.

“I suppose when someone like Paul Kimmage gets involved and the evidence is credible then you have to sit up and take notice. Someone like him can use his time far better than just creating rumours.”

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