South African rugby has been rocked by the revelation that Bulls and Springbok loose forward Pedrie Wannenburg has admitted that he had used cocaine and ecstasy, and also abused alcohol.
Wannenburg, who has 98 Super Rugby caps for the Bulls and 20 Test caps for the Boks to his credit, was exposed when video was forwarded to his employers – the Blue Bulls Rugby Union (BBRU).
According to News24 Wannenburg’s drug and alcohol abuse nearly cost him his rugby career.
Bulls coach Frans Ludeke even warned him: “I think you should find something else to do.”
The video, coupled with his mother finding a straw with which he snorted cocaine in his bedroom, led Wannenburg to reconsider his lifestyle.
He is now tested by the Bulls’ team doctor on a weekly basis for alcohol and drug abuse.
Wannenburg, who can play lock, flank and No.8, tells his story in the latest issue of the magazine Finesse, which is available at shops on Monday.
This follows Joost van der Westhuizen’s recent admission regarding the so-called Joost sex video and the fact that he had abused drugs and alcohol.
Wannenburg, who has been in the headlines for the wrong reasons – including his stormy love-life – on a number of occasions in recent years, told the Afrikaans daily Beeld that it is best to be honest – “no matter how difficult it is”.
“It is, and remains, difficult to talk in public about deeds you are ashamed of. I’m grateful for the people that are standing by me and supporting me. This motivates me to work hard at being the old Pedrie of which I can be proud,” he told the newspaper.
He said that his big ambition was to again pull the Bok jersey over his head.
According to the article, the video was made in a night club where Wannenburg had used drugs. It was sent to the BBRU and led to Ludeke’s warning.
“I often drank myself into a stupor but I was always with other people. It’s probably easy for others to label me an alcoholic, but I’m not addicted.
“The cocaine and ecstasy goes hand in hand with the drinking. If you drink too much and the drugs are there, then you give into temptation.
“It did not happen every day – just at parties for some added energy. After a while alcohol simply does not give you the same kick. You need something extra.”
He said he had tried to stop on a number of occasions.
“I am human. I wanted to, but could not get myself focused the first time. When I did not get what I wanted … I turned to alcohol and drugs.”Tweet