Banned McNab remains upbeat
Disgraced under-19 national rugby team flanker, Cameron McNab, says he will not give up on his dream of playing for the senior team, after he was banned from the sport for three years.
McNab was slapped with the ban last week by the International Rugby Board (IRB), after he tested positive for a banned substance in April this year.
Speaking during an exclusive interview this week, McNab said he was devastated when he learned about his lengthy suspension from the game.
“However, I would like to thank my parents and all the people who have supported me during this difficult period of my life. Rugby has been my life and that is why I will not give up on my dream of becoming a successful player. I am still young, and I will be 23 by the time I finish serving my ban, and I believe I still have an entire career ahead of me,” McNab said.
He said that the fact that many athletes across the world have served longer bans, and still come back to play or run, will be a motivation for him. McNab, who played for the University of Namibia (Unam) and also had a short stint with the Sharks U-19 team in South Africa, apologised to his teammates for what had happened.
“I know it was not something easy for my teammates to handle and I would like to apologise for what occurred. I would not say that I knew about the substance or not, because it would not change the verdict of the IRB, since the decision has been made.
“Sometimes your head is filled with questions that one will not just be able to answer, even if you try. I am, however, unhappy with the way my own union acted. They did not protect me enough during this time, but that is all in the past now. I am not the first player (this has happened to), but I hope things of this nature will not happen to anyone else, especially my teammates.”
McNab, who began his rugby career at the Dr Lemmer High School in Rehoboth, said he will be focusing on his studies next year.
Former senior rugby player, Wacca Kazombiaze, said McNab’s ban should serve as a lesson to all local players, who might have had plans to take illegal substances.
He said it is the duty of coaches and officials to educate athletes about substance abuse and the consequences for offenders.
“This is not the first time that something of this nature has happened in Namibia and yet people do not want to learn. It is important that our players refrain from such activities, because it paints a very negative picture of our rugby. All I can do is motivate the player, so that he serves his ban and makes a great comeback,” Kazombiaze said.
McNab becomes the second Namibian player to be banned after the IRB also handed a two-year ban in September 2007 to Rodger Thomson, who had tested positive for a banned substance in 2006.