Disgraced Australia winger Wendell Sailor has spoken publicly for the first time since starting his two-year ban from rugby for testing positive for cocaine.
Sailor's Australian Rugby Union central contract was terminated on Friday but he says he is not a drug cheat. He also stated that he does not condone the use of drugs and explained how difficult the affair has been for him and his family.
Sailor said: "Right now, I'm gutted. It's going to take a couple of days to get my head around this, but I know one thing for certain - I am not a drug cheat.
"I'd be disappointed if people thought of me like that, and I'd be disappointed if people were to put me in the same category as a guy like Ben Johnson (the former Canadian sprinter who was stripped of a gold medal in the 100m after testing positive to steroids at the 1988 Seoul Olympics).
"As a husband, father and a role model, I realise I have let plenty of people down, including myself. This was stupidity more than anything - and I would never condone the use of recreational drugs.
"The hardest thing has been having to deal with the media intrusion on me and my family. As for my penalty, I think it's grossly unfair.
"I'm not playing the victim. I'm the first to admit I've made a mistake. But to get two years leaves a bitter taste in my mouth because I am not a drug cheat." n Ireland have arranged World Cup warm-up matches against Scotland and Italy.
The Triple Crown winners will travel to Murrayfield on August 11 to face Frank Hadden's men before hosting Italy at Ravenhill two weeks later.
It will be only the second time in 53 years that Ireland have played a home international outside Lansdowne Road, where redevelopment beings next year. The last full international played at Ravenhill, home of Ulster, was against Scotland in 1954, a match Ireland won 6-0. Ireland open their World Cup against the African qualifying team in Bordeaux on Sept 9. n IBath have confirmed Mark Bakewell as their forwards coach. The New Zealander joins from Beziers, where he has worked since 2003.