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B-Sample test clears All Blacks' Tuipulotu

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 9/02/2017

All Blacks lock Patrick Tuipulotu has been cleared of doping charges after a B-Sample test found no presence of banned substances.

Tuipulotu was provisionally suspended after a November doping control sample reported positive for an unnamed banned substance.

On tour with the All Blacks at the time, the 24-year-old returned home for what were claimed to be personal issues, and has since also missed pre-season training.

But a test of the Blues wrecking ball's control B-sample by a WADA-approved laboratory in Utah was confirmed on Thursday to be clear.

The result gives Tuipulotu the green light to return to rugby immediately, with the Super Rugby campaign barely a fortnight away.

"This has been a challenging and difficult time for me, my partner, family and teammates, and I'm grateful for their support," Tuipulotu said.

"I'm pleased the matter is now closed, with my reputation and integrity intact, and I look forward to getting back into training."

New Zealand Rugby Players Association boss Rob Nichol said investigations were now taking place into why Tuipulotu's A-Sample and B-Sample tests differed.

The organisation were always confident Tuipulotu, who expressed his surprise after the A-sample reported positive, would be vindicated.

"To be honest there's an element of frustration, given the initial result and publicity, but at least people now know Patrick did nothing wrong," Nichol said.

New Zealand Rugby boss Steve Tew echoed Nichol's sentiments, saying he was glad Tuipulotu could receive closure.

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