Sam Chalmers, son of former Scotland and British Lions stand-off Craig Chalmers, expressed his embarrassment with tears over his ban of two years from rugby for doping offences when he appeared at the launch of the Borders Athlete Support Program's Clean Sport initiative.
The 19-year-old was disqualified after an International Rugby Board hearing earlier this year. Sam, who played for Melrose and Scotland's under-20 side, admitted to making use of a pill called Pro-SD, which contained banned substances. The International Rugby Board committee said Sam on his own account said he took Pro-SD thinking it was a ‘testosterone pill’ in the hope it would help him gain weight and added he carried out no research or advice and accepted the risks in doing so and Sam was entirely at fault and he accepts the consequences.
The rugby player said he bought the pills through the internet and the manufacturer makes no secret of the fact it is an anabolic steroid. He said he wanted to bulk up for playing at the highest level. Previously, Chalmers had tested positive for Methandienone and Stanozolol that are listed as anabolic androgenic steroids in the list of prohibited substances by the World Anti-Doping Authority while on duty with the Scotland Under-20s squad ahead of a Test with Ireland in May this year.
Sam Chalmers said he was stupid and naive and embarrassed by what he did when asking about the moment he told his father of his failed drugs test. He added he not only let himself down but also his club and family as well. Sam went on to add that what he did was wrong and he hopes that talking to the Athlete Support Program athletes about it will help them realize how important it is they are strong when it comes to making the right decisions.
Every Athlete Support Program (ASP) member in the Borders, following the launch of the Clean Sport program, will be required to sign a pledge to train and compete in line with the spirit of sport and with the UK Anti-Doping's clean sport policy. Rick Kenney, chairman of the Borders ASP, said he believes we are the first organization of our sort in the UK to formalize our commitment to clean sport in this way and there is a strong message here that we can spread, not just to our own athletes, but to the wider sporting community in the Borders. He added that we are grateful to Sam for daring to stick his head above the parapet to speak to our athletes of his regrets and in contributing a valuable lesson to them.
ASP manager Gregor Nicholson said we are now doing more to provide information links to all our athletes and coaches in light of Sam's experience. Karen Patterson, mother of the Scottish Under-15 badminton champion Robbie from Eyemouth, remarked she believed Chalmers' confession would inspire others to stay away from anabolic steroids and added what Sam did today may not have helped him, but it took a huge amount of courage to talk to a room of strangers. She added that Sam finding the courage to do this enabled all the athletes to see what one wrong decision can do to your career.