AFL says tablet perception 'wrong' - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

AFL says tablet perception 'wrong'

By Roger Vaughan 07/07/2010 03:04:14 PM Comments (0)

AFL operations manager Adrian Anderson has denied that the combination of caffeine and sleeping tablet usage is common among players.

Anderson admits it is a "bad look" for players to use caffeine tablets such as NoDoz, which are a legal substance under the WADA anti-doping policy.

But he said club and AFL doctors are monitoring what players are taking through their drug tests.

The issue of caffeine and sleeping supplements is again an issue in the game after Richmond veteran Ben Cousins was admitted to hospital on Monday morning.

Cousins admits he took too much of a prescribed sleeping medication.

"I do agree, taking the caffeine tablets can be a bad look, or is a bad look," Anderson told Fairfax Radio.

"But I think the most important thing here is it's been perhaps wrongly portrayed that there is a far greater use of these things, particularly if I'm talking about the issue of caffeine tablets and sleeping tablets.

"We've spoken to our medical officers, who monitor these things through the ASADA doping controls.

"They say it's extremely rare that an AFL player will take caffeine, or NoDoz, and sleeping tablets - very rare.

"The fundamental premise that's what happening across the AFL is wrong."

Anderson added he had not seen video footage of a Brisbane Lions trainer in the change rooms with a cup of NoDoz tablets, handing them to players.

"That does sound a concern and what we would expect is that the doctors at the clubs are properly supervising any use," he said.

"I haven't seen that footage, but I would certainly pass that onto our doctors and get them to look into it."

Cousins has called on the league to test him, to prove he did nothing wrong in this week's health scare.

But Anderson pointed out that Cousins, a recovering drug addict, is already tested regularly.

"It's probably worth bearing in mind that what has happened with him is linked to his own medical circumstances and I don't think (it) should be extrapolated across the whole playing group," Anderson said.

"We don't have a disciplinary issue in relation to that, no."

Anderson also said it was crucial to remember that AFL footballers are professional sportspeople and could readily go to their club doctor to discuss the use of caffeine or sleeping tablets.

"Our AFL players are under constant medical supervision - you should never take sleeping tablets without proper medical supervision by a doctor," he said.

"Our doctors' fundamental concern at the clubs is the welfare of their players.

"People should never assume it's okay to take any of these things without proper medical supervision, that's not what's happening at the AFL level to their best of our knowledge."

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