Fiji Rugby has today clarified
that player welfare issues were seriously discussed and acknowledged
during the negotiations of our commercial partnership with Fiji Kava.

CEO John O’Connor clarified that from the outset of the negotiations,
player welfare was paramount and as such there is no contractual
obligation on players to use kava capsules as their performance recovery
programs.

The decision to join in partnership with Fiji Kava, as a global
distributor of noble kava products is a commercial decision and allows
Fiji Rugby and our teams to respond to our traditional and customary
obligations of which kava plays a significant and important role and our
partnership with Fiji Kava has allowed us to respond to these
obligations with minimum costs.

Kava has a special place in our culture and tradition and in the same
way Fiji Rugby supports and develops the nation’s rugby talent; Fiji
Kava supports and develops the farmers, manufacturers and yaqona
produced across Fiji, distributing it to the world.

It must also be acknowledged that a significant number of our
domestic players and those who play in Club Rugby in our islands are
yaqona farmers and rely on the sale of kava products to support their
families.

Fiji Rugby are emphatically committed to the governing laws of World
Rugby in particular the anti-doping protocols and guidelines in play and
will never place athlete wellbeing or high performance at a risk.

No player under Fiji Rugby responsibility would ever be supplied a prohibited or untested substance.

Fiji Rugby’s High Performance and sports medical department work
closely with all parts of the organization and have full support in
their role as managing the wellbeing of our athletes and ensuring the
mitigation of any potential risks to performance.

To suggest a commercial partnership would overrule the
High-Performance unit’s dedication to elite performance practice is
abhorrent.

We are proud of the role rugby plays in showcasing Fiji to the world
and just like our other global partners we are proud to support Fiji
Kava for also taking the beauty of Fiji to the rest of the world.

Lastly, it is well known that Pacific Island players usually consume kava to socialize in their leisure.

FRU

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