Eade backs review of AFL's drug policy - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Eade backs review of AFL's drug policy

By Sam Lienert 01/09/2010 02:00:33 PM Comments (0)

Western Bulldogs Rodney Eade has joined the growing band of AFL club representatives calling for an alteration to the league's illicit drugs policy.

Hawthorn chief executive Stuart Fox on Tuesday night said midfielder Travis Tuck would have been better served in his battle with drugs and depression if the Hawks were informed earlier.

Tuck was banned for 12 AFL games after recording a third strike, which also meant his name was made public, something that does not occur for the first two strikes under the league's policy.

Fox said the Hawks did not know of Tuck's plight - for which he had been receiving treatment for 10 months - until it became public after he was found unconscious by police and transported to hospital on Friday night.

Eade supported the view that clubs, or other parties with a player's best interests at heart, should be informed earlier.

"I certainly don't mind the three strikes policy, but it probably highlights, this case and what I've read (that) other people than just the club doctor need to know, at least after the second (strike), so there can be help," Eade told reporters on Wednesday.

"Whether it's family involved or people at the club, I'm not too sure who needs to know.

"But someone needs to know I think more than just the one person, or the AFL medicos as well."

It followed a similar call from Collingwood coach Mick Malthouse on Tuesday.

"I know some players come from dysfunctional families, but let me tell you, the football family is not dysfunctional," Malthouse said.

"If we are privy to the testing that may expose a player ... why do we have to wait?

"I might have it wrong, that's my opinion, all I say is `review that'."

The AFL and the AFL players' association have steadfastly maintained that their policy offers players with drug problems the best chance of being successfully treated.

Under AFL regulations, a player must undergo counselling after the first strike and his club medical officer is informed after the second strike.

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