After canceling three rounds of games, ostensibly because of drug use, the Top League announced Wednesday that every one of 692 players tested showed no evidence of illegal drug use.
The 16-team league, Japan’s elite rugby competition, postponed two rounds of games from Feb. 29 to March 8 due to the coronavirus outbreak. On March 8, a source said the league was considering canceling three more rounds to help slow the spread of the virus.
(Top League chairman Osamu Ota)
When that decision was announced the next day, the league used the March 5 arrest of a player from New Zealand as the rationale for extending the hiatus — to restore faith in the league and use the time to ensure teams complied with the rules.
On March 23, the league canceled the remainder of the season, this time on account of the coronavirus.
The league said it would test every one of its 884 players, but has as yet been unable to test 192 who are abroad or in poor physical condition.