Three Force players fail ‘breathalyzer’ tests

Three Western Force players recorded alcohol levels above the acceptable limits a day after their 22-3 win over the Stormers in a Super 14 match last Friday, following a night out on the town.

A media release on Monday said that Scott Fava, Cameron Shepherd and Haig Sare all “breached a team protocol” by registering a higher than acceptable alcohol level the day after the match.

It is not the first time that Australians’ penchant for Cape Town’s night life has landed players in trouble.

Other high-profile Aussie rugby stars who landed in hot water for excessive alcohol abuse in Cape Town in the past two years include Wendell Sailor (on at least two occasions), Matt Henjak and Lote Tuqiri – not to mention the infamous Brumbies taxi-bashing episode of a few years ago.

It is also not the first time Fava had been in trouble with the Western Force management for alcohol abuse.

On Monday the Western Force team management announced that Fava had “breached a team protocol” and accordingly will not be selected in the match-day 22 to play against the Bulls in Pretoria on Friday.

The team’s protocols are internal standards aimed at achieving optimum recovery and preparation for next performance, according to the media releases.

An alcohol level of 0.04 was agreed by the team as an appropriate limit for Saturday morning after the Stormers match, with the day being a non-training day.

Fava’s reading was 0.043.

“It was a misjudgment on my part and one, of course, I regret,” Fava said.

“After my breach last year, I adopted an approach I thought would better manage my post-match re-hydration. Unfortunately, this was not enough,” he said.

“I don’t believe my body deals with the de-toxing of alcohol as well as other people and I will be making further changes as to how I approach my recovery.

“I am part of the playing group which agreed to these protocols and I accept the consequences.”

Fava will stay with the team for the remainder of the South African tour.

Cameron Shepherd (0.047) and Sare (0.044) also breached the protocol and, in accordance with team protocol for a first offence, have been fined AU$500. They will still be available for selection.

RugbyWA High Performance Manager Wayne Goldsmith said the organization would not compromise its agreed standards, even if it meant leaving players of Fava’s calibre on the sideline.

He said the protocols had been revised at the end of 2006 and agreed to by the playing group, and they had to be adhered to.

“No one has broken the law here, so let’s put this in perspective. However, we have protocols which, while they don’t stop the boys from enjoying themselves, they do aim to best prepare the players for the next game,” Goldsmith said.

365 Digital

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