AFL moves towards drug policy compromise - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

AFL moves towards drug policy compromise

By Sam Lienert 12/07/2005 07:41:06 PM Comments (0)

The AFL has taken its first step towards trying to settle differences between its drug policy and that of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in a meeting in New Zealand.

The league's refusal so far to sign the worldwide accord on anti-doping policy, backed by 165 countries, has it at odds with every other sport in Australia, and is set to cost it about $1 million in federal funding.

The AFL differs with the world body over its sanctions for non-performance enhancing drugs, such as cannabis.

The league favours counselling for first and second offences, rather than the heavier penalties demanded by WADA.

But AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou, AFL legal counsel Andrew Dillon and league medical officer Peter Harcourt attempted to iron out a compromise with WADA director-general David Howman in a meeting in Wellington.

While the AFL was unwilling to comment on the outcome of the discussions until after it met with federal Sports Minister Rod Kemp next week, Howman said the league officials had indicated a willingness to sign up to the WADA code.

"(We are) providing information so that they can better talk with the Australian government and become co-compliant," Howman told the Ten Network.

"I think from my perspective that they are wanting to do that."

In other news, the AFL reinforced its hard line against players who dissent with umpiring decisions, despite several coaches suggesting the officials were being over-sensitive in enforcing penalties.

Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson and Kangaroos counterpart Dean Laidley both questioned whether 50-metre penalties imposed against their teams on the weekend were warranted.

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