Jarryd Hayne is immediately eligible to play for the Fiji rugby sevens during this week’s HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series after traveling to London to join his new team.
Hayne will also be eligible to play in the Summer Olympics if he remains in compliance with the World Anti-Doping Agency, the World Rugby association announced on Monday.
Hayne ended his pursuit of playing a second season with the 49ers on Sunday with the announcement he was joining the Fiji team, which has qualified for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
The former chair of the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority, Richard Ings, wrote on Twitter that athletes must be in the WADA testing pool for at least six months to be eligible to participate in such international competitions as the Olympic Games, which begin Aug. 5.
On Monday, World Rugby released the following statement:
World Rugby notes the announcement that Jarryd Hayne wishes to pursue new sporting challenges with the Fiji rugby sevens team and has moved to address speculation regarding the player’s availability under Regulation 21 to play sevens.
World Rugby is committed to the highest-possible anti-doping standards. The WADA-compliant World Rugby Regulation 21 mirrors the requirements of the World Anti-Doping Code and the WADA International Standard for Testing and Investigations. It does not require a player to be included in a testing pool for a defined period of time prior to selection if they are being selected for international competition for the first time. This position is entirely consistent with World Rugby’s approach to other cross-over athletes, including other ex-NFL athletes coming into rugby.
Therefore, Hayne would be eligible for the London round of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series subject to all other regulatory and registration matters being met. He would also be immediately included in World Rugby’s pre-Rio 2016 risk-based testing programme, which since January 2016 has included a comprehensive programme of targeted in and out of competition blood and urine testing on players likely to compete in Rio. The pre-Games programme also includes regular additional screening for substances such as ESAs and human growth hormone, and both steroidal and haematological athlete biological profiling.