x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Miller believes sport's reputation is still intact

The IRB chief executive Mike Miller is confident the campaign for the inclusion of sevens in the Olympic Games will withstand the recent scandals to hit the sport.

The International Rugby Board (IRB) chief executive Mike Miller is confident the campaign for the inclusion of sevens in the Olympic Games will withstand the recent scandals to hit the sport. Rugby's reputation has been dragged through the mud over the last few months, with the fake injury controversy at the English Premiership side Harlequins following hot on the heels of five Bath players being banned for drug-related issues.

South Africa have not been far from controversy either, with Peter de Villiers' botched attempts to justify eye-gouging and the Springboks' protest against the suspension of Bakkies Botha both causing alarm within the IRB. "They have not been a problem at all. No one has raised any questions to us," said Miller. "Everyone knows there are always a small minority in any sport who try to bend the rules and forget about their place as role models. The main thing is: what are the overriding principles, ethos and spirit of the game? The only reason these are headlines is because they are so shocking within rugby and that says a lot of good things about rugby.

"Rugby has a high moral threshold and is proud of its ethos and of its world view. Cheating is not tolerated in any way, shape or form. * PA Sport