The manufacturers of a well known brand of rugby-specific performance enhancing drugs have pulled their entire product palette from the backrooms of a new chain of Sports Nutrition shops in south Dublin today after disagreement with the owners over pricing levels.
A spokesman for athletic chemicals provider Rugged Industries said the firm had sought “personal guarantees” from new arrival to the Irish market, TotesRipt.co.uk, that Rugged’s “Rugger” range of steroids, amphetamines and morphine-based painkillers would not be surreptitiously slipped into plastic bags with a nod and wink below the manufacturer’s notoriously high recommended retail price.
“On the surface, it could look to most people that the chemical structure of our Beta-2 Agonists should almost by definition be identical to that of any other less expensive product also describing itself as a Beta-2 Agonist”, said Gonzaga alumnus and Brand Manager at Rugged, Kyle Farquharson. “This may, or may not, be the case.”
Punching Each Other In The Changing Room
“But rugby players have a strong collective emotional attachment to our products”, he continued.
“We find it wrong that TotesRipt would try to discreetly offer Rugged-brand vials of EPO, HGH and synthetic testosterone well below the semi-official going rates to someone standing there at the cash register in a Leinster jersey with two kilos of whey powder .”
Farquharson claims that most people who choose Rugged place huge store by the fact that they’re not “slumming it with the League of Ireland Juicers”, or the majority of city nightclub doorman who anecdotally part with significantly smaller sums for their legal-to-buy-illegal-to-supply muscle building needs.
High speed, heavyweight collisions.
Representatives of the new chain, which boasts a list of outlets that reads like the DART route from Westland Row to Greystones were quick to respond.
“TotesRipt stands for giving its customers as much – inverted commas – bang for their buck, as is economically feasible”, said the company’s Press Officer, ex-Mary’s boy A.J. Devlin.
“Look at it, if you like, as partly a response to six years of austerity. From schools through to clubs and beyond, nobody’s rugby should have to suffer just because his exorbitant mortgage, or his parents’ one, isn’t leaving enough over to fund a solid programme.
And even further up the tree, who’s to say that fringe internationals mightn’t be happy beneficiaries of the combination of lax IRFU testing procedures and what until now have been ultra competitive rock bottom deals on Rugged Xenoandrogens?”
“I mean, we’re the ones who were taking the hit on this, not Rugged. So if remaining an attractive proposition in the current climate meant us whispering to people in our shops about the hypothetical availability of a Buy 3-Pay 2 course of their favourite brand of synthetic hormones, then go ahead and shoot me.
“No pun intended”, he continued.
While regretful at the loss of Rugged products from TotesRipt’s selection of always expertly concealed berserker potions, Devlin did not rule out the possibility of a mutually satisfactory solution to the impasse for both parties in the future.
“Of course, if price dumping manages to bankrupt our rivals elsewhere on the Southside, we certainly wouldn’t be averse down the line to discussing the possibility of a Rugged price hike. Back up to, say, 80 for 10 mills of Human Grade. Or even higher, no problem – we’d be happy to talk.”
“Don’t hate the player, hate the game”, he added.
Lovely Soft Hands
With opinion divided and no spokesman from the sport’s governing body in Ireland available to comment directly on the case today, at least one rugby playing customer was prepared to express a view on the doorstep of TotesRipt’s Booterstown branch.
U.C.D. Thirds lock, Oisín Kennedy, attempted to sum up the quandary.
“Conflicted, for sure. I’m a big Rugged guy, there’s a cachet that you just don’t get with some of this UG gear. And in one way the prospect of being able to have their stuff for knockdown prices sounds like the answer to all my prayers. But there’s still a voice in the back of my head, you know? I think it’s what they call a Catch 22.”
“But of course”, he went on, “Drico only said last week ‘Son, if I can give you one piece of advice, never look a gift horse in the mouth’, didn’t he?
“All these different voices”, he concluded.
GO RAIBH MAITH!