NRL steps up its drug testing program - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

NRL steps up its drug testing program

18/03/2010 11:36:00 AM Comments (0)

The NRL has confirmed reports that it has reached an agreement with the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) to enter into additional testing for Human Growth Hormone (hGH), Erythropoietin (EPO) and Continuous Erythropoietin Receptor Activator (CERA).

The decision follows extensive discussions between the NRL, the Rugby League Players' Association, ASADA and medical experts about hGH, EPO and CERA over recent months.

Rugby league is considered to be a leader in Australian sport for drug testing and the NRL believes the latest agreement will only strengthen its testing program.

The game's governing body and ASADA have also endorsed the eight-year storage of blood and urine samples that the authority may wish to retain for the purposes of future investigation.

League CEO David Gallop said on Thursday that NRL players have always been available for any test that ASADA wishes to carry out under the World Anti-Doping AGency Code.

"While it is always up to ASADA to determine its testing program, the NRL and RLPA's additional support through this agreement makes it clear that players will undergo blood tests in 2010," Gallop said.

"In ASADA, Australia has one of the most respected anti-doping authorities in the world and, in addition to its efforts, we invest substantially in further tests each year.

"Our focus has always been on ensuring that those tests produce the most effective deterrent and ASADA has been a strong supporter of our existing programs.

"We have been discussing the issue of hGH, EPO and CERA for some months and, while neither we nor ASADA have any information to suggest that these substances are being used in the NRL, the additional tests will provide an extra level of deterrent."

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