Rugby League: League warns against creatine

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The Independent Online
THE RUGBY League is to warn its member clubs not to advise players to take the dietary supplement, creatine.

The substance, which is not on the banned list issued by the International Olympic Committee or the UK Sports Council, was revealed by a recent survey in The Independent to be in widespread use in the sport.

"We have been in constant touch with the Sports Council about creatine," said the League's chief executive, Neil Tunnicliffe. "They have come back to us again this week and told us that it is OK, but we are going to contact our clubs to warn them to be very careful about recommending it to their players. If it turns out, in years to come, that it has all sorts of side- effects, players could sue clubs which have encouraged them to take it."

The League has also held talks with the Players' Association about the substance, which is also widely used in other sports to combat fatigue.

Italy's claim to the wild-card place in the 2000 World Cup could be strengthened by an international Sevens tournament there next year. Twelve countries, including a Great Britain side, are to compete in the event in Padua in November.

Italy is one of the nations vying for the vacant 16th place in the World Cup, the draw for which is to be made before the World Nines in South Africa in February.

Sheffield Eagles' Great Britain centre, Keith Senior, has agreed a new contract extension that will keep him with the club until after the 2001 season.

Senior, who played in all three Tests against New Zealand this autumn, would be much sought after if he was on the market, but said yesterday that Sheffield's recruitment this winter had made him keen to stay at his only professional club.

"He is one of the game's top centres and by the end of his contract he will be the best in the country," said the Sheffield coach, John Kear.

Either of the consortia which could take control of the struggling Doncaster club will be have to reapply for membership of the League.

"We are becoming increasingly concerned about the future of the club," said Tunnicliffe. "If there is a take-over, we will be exercising our rights under the by-laws by asking them to reapply."

Doncaster are included in the fixtures for next season, but the League will want evidence they can fulfill their programme before confirming their participation.