AFL proposes new drugs policy - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

AFL proposes new drugs policy

By Guy Hand 04/05/2004 08:00:00 PM Comments (0)

AFL players will escape any significant penalty for using drugs like cocaine and ecstasy on non-matchdays, unless they are caught three times under proposed changes to the sport's drug code.

Under proposals the AFL hopes to introduce for the start of next season, players who repeatedly fail non-matchday tests for recreational drugs will face bans of up to one year.

But penalties will be only be imposed after the third failed drug test.

The player would receive counselling, treatment and remain anonymous the first two times he was caught, before facing a ban of up to 12 matches for the third failed dope test.

A fourth failed test could result in a ban of up to a full season.

There will be no change to the hardline policy on players who test positive to recreational drugs on matchdays, with bans of up to 12 matches for the first offence and two years for the second.

Under current AFL rules, players who test positive to party drugs on non-matchdays do not have their identities revealed and face no penalty.

AFL football operations manager Adrian Anderson said it was important to have a balance between punitive action and considering the welfare of the player when tackling recreational drug use.

Under the new proposals, Carlton duo Laurence Angwin and Karl Norman would have been counselled and their club not notified if the AFL had conducted its own tests on the pair after they arrived at training drug-affected last month.

Angwin was sacked and Norman banned for one match and fined $5,000 after the Blues conducted their own tests on the pair after suspecting they were under the influence of drugs.

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