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Sunday, May 30, 1999 Published at 10:01 GMT 11:01 UK


Paper defiant over Dallaglio

Dallaglio denied taking drugs during his rugby career

The News of the World newspaper remains defiant over its investigative tactics and has printed new drug revelations about former England rugby captain Lawrence Dallaglio.

Dallaglio special report
The paper says he dealt in illegal substances at the age of 16.

Dallaglio has issued a fresh statement denying all the allegations and promising to co-operate fully with the Rugby Football Union (RFU) investigation into the claims.

Meanwhile the paper has issued a strong defence of the way it obtained the story.

"This week the News of the World has been widely condemned for its hard-hitting investigations," it admits.

"Today we hold up our hands and confess - we are guilty.

"Guilty of carrying out legitimate investigations to expose real criminals, drug dealers, perverts and paedophiles."

It adds: "The News of the World has a proud tradition of exposing drug dealers to rid our society of a deadly menace.


Journalist Louise Oswald also rejected claims that she was a "honeytrap" set up to snare Dallaglio.

[ image: Lawrence Dallaglio: Under fire again]
Lawrence Dallaglio: Under fire again
"It is a conveniently sexist and lazy excuse to say I used my appearance to charm my way into his affections," she said of their meeting to discuss a fake sponsorship deal.

"He could have got up and walked out. But he chose to stay and regale us with sordid boasts of his sex, booze and drugs binges."

The 26-year-old Wasps flanker resigned from the England job on Monday and was left behind when the squad flew to Australia for a pre-World Cup tour on Wednesday.

He has received the backing of England coach Clive Woodward, although he accepted during the week his former skipper had been a "complete prat".

Joints at public school

The newspaper's latest claims come from a former fellow pupil of Dallaglio's at Ampleforth College, a Roman Catholic public school in North Yorkshire.

Antony Booth, 26, told the newspaper: "Dallaglio would come over to my rooms in St Aidan's House and smoke a joint while he picked up the cannabis the boys in his house had ordered."

It is also claimed that the rugby player "boasted about smoking purple super-skunk - a powerful form of cannabis - during a rugby sevens tournament in Amsterdam".

The paper says it has also spoken to "top rugby players about sex and drug orgies" at a tournament in the Dutch city.

Denial repeated

As the paper hit the news-stands, Dallaglio maintained his stance of the last seven days.

"I totally stand by the statement I made earlier this week. I have not taken drugs during my rugby career," he said.

"I have admitted experimenting with drugs in my youth - which I bitterly regret - however I vigorously refute the suggestion that I have ever dealt in drugs.

"My future lies in the hands of the RFU investigating body and I shall be co-operating fully with them. I very much look forward to resuming my career."

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