DODDIE Weir has welcomed the study looked at the health outcomes of former Scotland International rugby players by examining the types of health conditions they have experienced and their causes of death.

But he continues to believe that his rugby career did not lead to his diagnosis with MND.

The study led by the University of Glasgow found that former players from the amateur era and later professionals lived slightly longer than the average population.

However, they appeared to have an increased risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases, such as dementia, Parkinson’s disease and MND.

Doddie said; "Any research to help us better understand MND is welcome.

“This study certainly has some surprising findings but we are still not clear on any proven links between rugby and the cause of MND.

“I have always believed that my rugby career did not lead to me being diagnosed with this terrible disease.

“My Name’5 Doddie Foundation continues to commit significant funds into MND research that will help us to understand its causes.”

Jessica Lee, Director of Research at My Name’5 Doddie Foundation believes that the results of the study should be treated with caution given the relatively small sample size.

She said: “The study published today has suggested a potential increased risk of motor neuron disease (MND) amongst former Scottish international rugby players, compared with the general population.

“Whilst these results are concerning, the findings should be viewed with caution.

“The sample size included in the study is relatively small, especially when studying an uncommon condition like MND.

“These findings therefore warrant further investigation in larger scale studies.

Whilst the study showed a correlation between Scottish international rugby players and the incidence of MND, it did not provide evidence of a causal relationship.

“Further research is needed to better understand whether playing elite sport, including rugby, could lead to the development of MND.”

Research that My Name'5 Doddie Foundation is funding in this field includes a study investigating the potential link between strenuous activity and the development of MND.

Pieces of work such as this are essential in better understanding MND and how it can be treated.