WRU in regular Howley contact, says chairman Gareth Davies

Rob Howley
Rob Howley captained Wales at the 1999 World Cup

Welsh Rugby Union chairman Gareth Davies says it is in "regular contact" with former backs coach Rob Howley as the investigation into an alleged World Rugby betting breach continues.

Howley was sent home just before the World Cup started and the hearing is expected to finish in a "few weeks".

Wales coach Warren Gatland said last week that Howley was devastated.

"We said at the outset this was not about doing things quickly, it was about doing it properly," said Davies.

"It has been a tough time for Rob and a tough time for the players and coaches at the start of the World Cup.

"We are working with him and going through the investigation to do it properly for everybody's sake.

"They are mindful we are looking after him as well while the investigation is ongoing."

Davies says World Rugby is not involved in the investigation, but will be informed by the WRU when a decision is reached.

Gatland's doping remark discussed

Davies has also reacted to comments from Gatland last week to an Irish radio station that he suspected one Wales player of potentially doping during his 12-year tenure as Wales coach, which ended after the World Cup.

"We have been in discussions with Warren to clarify matters and I think he was referring to hearing players jokingly talking around a certain individual," said Davies.

"It is a serious matter which everyone recognises and Warren said he had no evidence to suggest anybody had been doping under his supervision."

Davies says he does not think there is a drugs problem at elite Welsh professional level.

"I am not aware of anything," said Davies.

"At the top level these days there is so much testing, scrutiny and advice given to players, you would be a fool to do it.

"Every professional game and international, there are random tests held. I would agree there are cases at lower level, but not at the top level as far as I am aware.

"The old management team under Warren would have been very tight on this so there are no suspicions at all."

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