The Fiji Rugby Union will not sue media agencies who made false allegations against several national team officials of drug use before the Test match against Australia in Perth on June 8.
FRU chief executive Ratu Timoci Tavanavanua said yesterday that the FRU would not pursue legal redress against the media who published these allegations but hoped those concerned would learn from their mistakes.
The FRU dispelled all allegations after the results of doping tests of all 14 officials tested last week came back with negative results.
“I hope this puts to an end the baseless speculation in the media of the use of drugs within the national team management,” Ratu Timoci said.
“Several officials have been severely hurt by these false allegations,” he said.
“Most damaging of all was the allegation by Agence France-Presse that senior officials were smoking cannabis before the match against the Wallabies in Perth.
“We now know that to be a total lie – I look forward to hearing from AFP and their reporter Jone Kalouniviti to see their reaction to these tests.
“The AFP’s senseless accusation hurt the officials, players, their families and everyone else involved with at Fiji Rugby. It damaged Fiji’s reputation worldwide.”
14 officials undertook a urine test for cannabis, conducted by Fanny Simpson of the Fiji Sports Drug Agency on July 12.
The samples were analysed at the Chemistry Laboratory of the Ministry of Agriculture under the supervision of Mili Nawaikula.
Caption: From left FRU CEO Ratu Timoci Tavanavanua, board member Viliame Varasikete and FRU acting Operations Manager Vilikesa Rinavuaka address Fiji’s media at the Fiji Rugby House board room. Photo: GREG TAYLOR