The article said the trio returned urine tests confirming use of banned substances.

The players helped French rugby club Racing 92 claim the French Top 14 title in June.

Carter is arguably the greatest flyhalf to play the game with the All Black legend currently the world’s leading point scorer at Test level.

He guided New Zealand to consecutive Rugby World Cups in 2011 and 2015.

Fellow All Black Rokocoko played 68 Tests for New Zealand between 2003-10.

Imhoff is from Argentina.

The article reported the players had not received a therapeutic use exemption (TUEs) justifying use.  

Carter and Rokocoko’s manager Simon Porter told the New Zealand Herald his players had received the okay to use the “prescribed medication”.

Carter was believed to have been recovering from a calf injury while Kokocoko had been battling a knee ailment.

Porter said he had been aware of the issue facing the pair.

More to come.