This Interview Proves Munster’s Gerbrandt Grobler Has Learned His Doping Lesson

“I was broken.”

Munster lock Gerbrandt Grobler has been in the headlines again recently, with the South African back in full training and in line to make his competitive debut for the southern province in the coming weeks.

The headlines however, haven’t exactly been positive, with questions regarding his two-year doping suspension once again resurfacing. Grobler was handed a two-year suspension after testing positive for drostanolone, an anabolic-androgenic steroid, during the 2014 Currie Cup.

Racing 92 offered him a path back into rugby following the ban, with this interview in SA Rugby Magazine last year proving he’s no doubt learned his lesson from the whole ordeal.

“I was broken,” Grobler said, reflecting on the ban in an interview with SA Rugby magazine in May of last year.

“You lose your house, your car, you lose everything. I lost 90% of my friends.”

He spoke candidly of the events that led him to make that fateful decision to take a banned substance.

“I was 21 at the time, young and stupid, and struggling with serious ankle and shoulder injuries,” he said.

“They weren’t getting any better, and I knew I needed to start playing again or I could lose my contract. I had my back against the wall and had reached a point where I thought, “OK, I’ve done all I can, so what else can I do?”

Grobler admitted that for a couple of months after the ban he ‘blew up pretty badly and lost myself’. He stopped caring about anything in life.

“Then one day I looked in the mirror and said, “You have to make this work for you”.”

‘When I told the guys, Schalk (Burger) came up to me and said, “Don’t give up”.’

Burger also told Grobler to turn the suspension into a positive; namely that a two-year rest from rugby for a player his age could prolong his career by four seasons.

Above all else, Grobler has learned to take life day by day.

“But if there is one thing I’ve learned it’s to take life day by day,”

“A couple of years ago I was on the brink of giving up rugby and now I’m playing for Racing. All I can do is play good, hard rugby and keep hoping.”

“After all, if you don’t have hope, what do you have?”

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