Former Manu Samoa stands by drugs claim

By Vatapuia Maiava 08 January 2018, 12:00AM

Former Manu Samoa Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu is standing firm on his claims about the use of cocaine in professional rugby circles.

The claim initially surfaced in a tweet from the outspoken former professional player last week.

A lawyer by profession, Fuimaono-Sapolu was responding to a tweet by Welsh Rugby writer, Paul Williams, slamming rugby player, Karmichael Hunt, who is Samoan for using cocaine.

“You’ll find loads of ballers do it. Heaps in Super Rugby, including some of your favorite All Blacks,” Fuimaono tweeted back.

During an interview with the Samoa Observer yesterday, Fuimaono-Sapolu said he was simply trying to defend Hunt from what he felt was an unfair attack from media.

“I just shared that (tweet) because at the time they were talking about Karmichael Hunt and I felt these journalists and everyone were trying to mock him ‘oh you’re such a bad boy for doing it’,” he said.

“All I was saying was that there are a lot of people doing it. This guy isn’t evil for doing it.

“It (cocaine) is massive in Super Rugby, it’s massive in N.R.L. I have absolutely no doubt that there are All Blacks doing it. I know All Blacks who have done it.

“For me it’s not a big deal. I’m not going to drop names but yeah, people’s favorite All Blacks are doing it. Rugby players want the buzz but without the fat.”

Fuimaono-Sapolu added from his experience within the circle of rugby players, those who were using cocaine would just casually admit to it because it was no big deal to them.

He shared that while playing for Bath Rugby Club, England, there were many players using the drug because it was a fat-free way of getting a buzz.

“I was playing for Bath and four of our guys were caught doing cocaine,” he said.

“They randomly drug tested (us) which was publicized. The whole team was drug tested because word got around that everyone was doing it.

“It’s a big thing in rugby, it’s one of the things our young players need to watch out for, it’s not just alcohol, it’s not just girls, there’s a lot of these drugs, cocaine is one of them.

“It’s because it’s fat free and it’s in and out of the system in three days or even less, sometimes its three hours so you can do it, get your high and it’s gone.

“There’re no calories. So if we drink beer, we put on a lot of fat. It’s a fattening way of getting high; it’s a fattening way to get that buzz. 

“Rugby players have to be fast, you have to be strong and you don’t want to be carrying any fat.”

Fuimaono-Sapolu added that you will find many rugby players drinking alcoholic beverages such as gin and tonic or orange juice with vodka because it’s the best legal way to get a high that’s also almost fat-free.

He explained beer, on the other hand, is something that will require a good work out after to get rid of the calories gained.

Compared to cocaine, Fuimaono explained that beer and drugs given to other rugby players such as growth hormone supplements are way worse, and yet they are legal in the sport.

“Cocaine is big because it actually heightens your senses and makes you more aware whereas beer is a bit of a depressant,” he said.

“It plays with your emotions as well. It gets you drunk, but the next day, that’s why during the hangover you feel sad.

“The other one is the growth hormone, that’s the big one. Once you go through puberty, your body gets a bit bigger, you get a bit stronger then the growth hormone gives you a second puberty.

“That’s a big one that a lot of people are doing in order to get bigger or taller and to have another growth spurt, that’s way worse than cocaine.

“It plays with your body, it makes you bigger and everything, but a lot of the media are old white people who think cocaine and marijuana is bad so they focus on that.

“But the growth hormone is worse. It’s big in rugby league where a lot of the guys are fully grown and then they take it in order to grow again.

“It’s really unhealthy. Cocaine is nothing compared to that stuff.”

Fuimaono -Sapolu turned his attention to the National Rugby League (N.R.L.) for their alleged use of sport enhancing supplements such as growth hormones.

He also stressed how the world of rugby is full of contradictions where they ban some things while allowing others, even if what is allowed is worse than what was banned.

“N.R.L. is the place, N.R.L. is where they’re doing all these tests on people and they are on another level,” he said.

“Cocaine is old there, everyone does cocaine there, but it’s old. There’s all these other stuff that’s worse. The growth hormone actually makes you a better player; it makes you bigger and stronger.

“But cocaine does nothing, marijuana does nothing. It doesn’t make you good at all; it makes you worse so they’re banned.

“It’s stupid because alcohol isn’t (banned) because behind nearly every single rape or violent offending, it’s someone who’s drunk.

“But because of the Heineken Cup and because we are sponsored by alcohol and rugby is a big sponsor of alcohol, it’s okay.

“They want rugby players to drink the alcohol and not do the coke because the alcohol is giving us the money.”

Furthermore, Fuimaono said so many rugby players are using the drug and the only way to catch them is to trick them with drug tests.

“It’s normal, there’s a lot of famous All Blacks who use coke for the same reason that I have said,” he said.

“It’s not fattening and it’s not in your system. In England, whenever we had a drug test to come, some of our boys were never there.

“Sometimes we would have a drug test come twice a week and they would always miss that training. You never really catch these guys because there’s always someone tipping them off.

“There’s someone in the administration who’s telling them ‘hey look man, you’re getting drug tested now’. 

“The way they got the Bath rugby player was the entire Bath rugby dudes were on a bus on their way to a party and they just showed up or they got the boys at a team meeting or something. You have to trick them.”

Fuimaono ended with words of advice for local Samoan rugby players hoping to make it big in the sport.

“Don’t do drugs,” he said.

“Honestly, for the local guys, you have to look out for that. When you go overseas, you go to a party and you see dudes with powder around here (nose) and you see the hottest girls ever and all the fancy top shelf drinks.

“It’s a lot of temptation when you go, for all the young locals going overseas for the first time, seeing negative five degree freezing weather and seeing the girls, the drugs and the alcohol.

“It’s just one of those things you have to be careful of because it doesn’t go well with us. Alcohol doesn’t work well with us. Just be careful. There’re a lot of things that come with the rugby limelight.

“Everyone wants to be a professional rugby player but there are just a lot of things you have to watch out for and it’s not coming from criminals, it’ll come from your teammates, it will come from your friends and people in your circle.”

By Vatapuia Maiava 08 January 2018, 12:00AM
Samoa Observer

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