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Wednesday, May 26, 1999 Published at 10:22 GMT 11:22 UK

Sport: Rugby Union

RFU to view Dallaglio tapes

Dallaglio resigned after a newspaper pointed the finger

Rugby Union officials are to meet representatives of the News of the World to arrange a viewing of videotapes that show Lawrence Dallaglio's alleged confession of drug use.

Dallaglio special report
Three members of the investigation committee will visit the offices of the News of the World, whose undercover reporters secretly recorded conversations with the former England captain.

In a statement on Tuesday night, the newspaper said: "The Rugby Football Union has asked the News of the World to make available our evidence to their own investigators and we have readily agreed to this request."

The RFU team will also be asking to speak to the two reporters concerned as part of their ongoing inquiry.

BBC Sports Correspondent Neil Bennett: "It's too early to say if this is the end of Lawrence Dallaglio's career"
There are reports that the toiletries company Gillette is considering legal action in connection with the affair. The two News of the World journalists posed as Gillette employees offering Dallaglio a sponsorship deal.

In a statement the company said: "The Gillette company had no knowledge of, or participation in, the News of the World's probe of rugby player Lawrence Dallaglio's alleged activity. We are alarmed that the Gillette name has been associated with this event."

The company will wait to see the results of the RFU investigation "before deciding what further action should be taken to protect the name and reputation of the Gillette company".

At a news conference on Tuesday, Dallaglio denied drugs allegations and promised to resurrect his international career.

BBC Rugby Correspondent Ian Robertson: "Many questions remain unanswered"
Dallaglio - who resigned as captain on Monday - said he had fabricated stories to impress the reporters.

He also admitted experimenting with drugs in his late teens, something he now bitterly regretted. But he strongly denied taking drugs during his rugby career.

The reporters had told him they were executives offering a sponsorship deal involving rugby in inner city areas.

Honey trap

He also told the media of the newspaper's "elaborate effort" to trap him.

They had produced business cards and fax numbers and convinced him they were from a company acting for Gillette UK.

He said he was very interested in their offer of £500,000 to help promote his sport in less privileged areas, and explained that their questioning turned to the subject of drugs as they discussed inner city problems.

"I lied to these people. I made up stories to impress these people. A lot of it was fabrication and I'm sure a lot of what they said was fabrication," he said.

[ image:  ]
He said he could "give no justification" for this but pointed to numerous negative random drug tests, including one on Monday, as evidence of his innocence.

The Wasps player also dismissed the News of the World's suggestion that he had named two British Lions team-mates as having taken Ecstasy with him on a 1997 tour.

Lawrence Dallaglio: "I've got to be open and honest"
He explained that his decision to resign was to avoid creating a "major distraction" to the England team's visit to Australia, and also to protect his family.

He hoped that his career could be rebuilt: "Rugby has given me a tremendous purpose in my life and I desperately want that to continue."

Legal action

Andrew Morris, a representative of Dallaglio's agents In Touch Management said legal action against the paper was a possibility.

The News of the World said Dallaglio's claim that he was lying was "frankly astonishing".

A statement from the paper said: "Given the tone, length and detail of his taped admissions of drug dealing and drug abuse in South Africa we are frankly astonished that he is claiming that all of this was a spur of the moment invention."

The paper said it had agreed to the RFU's request to make its evidence available to investigators.

It also said it was considering publishing more revelations about Dallaglio and his colleagues.

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