Reports of 16 year-old South African boys taking steroids in order to bulk up and improve their chance of a career in professional rugby are depressing, indeed all the more so because they are not surprising.

We know from many sports, notably cycling, athletics and swimming, of the illegitimate lengths to which people will go to improve their performance, often urged to do so by coaches more concerned with success as represented by medals than with the long-term risk to their charges’ health. We know too that the rogue chemists are often a step or two ahead of the testers. Moreover we are not greatly surprised when we learn even of state-sponsored cheating.