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Monday, May 28, 2007

Drug-Testing Leak 'A Mystery'

In its quest to suppress the leaking of confidential drug-testing results, the AFL went all the way to the Supreme Court with wall-to-wall QCs and Federal police. But what about the leaking to footy clubs of upcoming "random" drug tests? Just get the agency involved to ask around a bit and bury it quickly, it seems. Here, we examine the double-standards and dubious probity surrounding the The Big Port Adelaide Tip-Off Scandal of 2007.

By way of background, the AFL's drug-testing is, in part, out-sourced to a Federal Government agency, recently re-badged the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA). A caller to an Adelaide sports radio show - dubbed Mr X - warned that Port Adelaide players were about to be targeted for drug testing. While the call didn't go to air, the tip-off was passed on to current AFL players and turned out to be 100% correct.

On the face of it, it looked like someone with inside knowledge of the supposedly confidential and random drug-testing protocol was sufficiently concerned about Port Adelaide players getting caught with drugs in their system that a tip-off was warranted. Mr X is reported as saying "to be forewarned is to be forearmed". The recipient of the tip-off, Radio 5AA sports panelist Russell Ebert is a well-known Port Power former champion and now an official involved with mentoring players. Fellow panelist, Graham Cornes, tipped off his footballer son Chad Cornes, who was selected for testing by ASADA. Chad Cornes concedes he knew in advance he had been selected. Naturally, this triggered an investigation:

ASADA sent an executive to Adelaide to question locally based drug-testers. He will today interview 5AA staff about Saturday morning's tip-off.

It is understood 5AA knows the identity of the caller, but will not give any details to ASADA on ethical grounds.

MR X, the man who told Ebert of the impending drug tests at Alberton, says the ASADA unit that tested Adelaide players in two visits to the Crows' West Lakes base last week let slip it would be at Alberton on Monday. Mr X learned of the leak on Thursday.

THE AFL put all investigations on the Port leak in the hands of ASADA. The league's hands are tied because ASADA, the federal government's testing agency, operates independent of the AFL.

AFL football operations manager Adrian Anderson yesterday sought a please-explain from ASADA. (The Australian, 25/4/2007)

So, in contrast to last year's leak allegations involving ASADA, the AFL is happy to leave it in the hands of ASADA to conduct an internal investigation. Last year, of course, saw the spectacular use of Australian Federal Police. This year, it suffices to send an "executive" to sniff around. Why the shift in attitude? Does this mean the AFL is more worried about drug-using players coping flak in the media than running a transparent testing program?

After a prompt investigation - less than a month - the verdict was in. In the media release issued last week, ASADA merely cleared itself of any wrongdoing without offering an account for what transpired:
The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) today confirmed that it has concluded its examination of media reports into the alleged disclosure of confidential information on planned testing missions for performance enhancing substances to a third party.

ASADA Chairman Richard Ings said that ASADA has conducted a thorough examination and found no evidence of anyone from ASADA releasing testing mission information to a third party.

“ASADA’s examination involved thoroughly reviewing the evidence and taking statements either directly or indirectly from all concerned individuals and found no evidence that any person in ASADA released confidential information to a third party,” Mr Ings said. (ASADA Media Release, 23/5/2007)

When pressed about how players were told of supposedly secret testing plans some 52 hours in advance, the ASADA spokesman said it remained "a mystery".

The remark explains the presence of this van spotted in the Alberton Oval car park, along with a hippy and a Great Dane.


Mystery: This van may be connected to the ASADA drug-leak investigation

ASADA is saying "we couldn't find any evidence" without telling us just how hard they looked. It seems wholly inadequate to us but there is no further information available. We've been desperately trying to reach Simon Tidy - ASADA media manager - to get more details on the investigation. But he hasn't been taking nor returning calls, at least to us. The Speccy would like to know, amongst things, who did the investigation, what training or experience they have in conducting investigations, what their brief was, which organisations were involved, whether there was oversight from law enforcement or other external agencies, who was spoken to, whether statements provided were written or oral, whether the statements taken were sworn (ie affidavits or statutory declarations), what it means to take statements "indirectly" (is that hearsay?), what report (if any) was made and just what is the official explanation of how this came about.

Logically speaking, either this tip-off was a lucky guess or there was a leak from inside ASADA. This question is not an idle parlour game: this matters. A lot. If it's the latter case, then the investigation necessarily failed, perhaps since it was flawed from inception. How can we judge the relative likelihoods of these competing explanations with such scant information? For Australians to have confidence in our taxpayer funded sports anti-doping agency, we need to know that confidentiality and integrity are not just mission-statement hype. We need to know exactly what steps they took to get to the bottom of this.

For the AFL, it is gross hypocrisy to be so unconcerned by a potential major breech of their drug-testing regime, yet to fight tooth-and-nail for the suppression of players' identities when caught out doing the wrong thing. According to ASADA, Adrian Anderson has "been kept informed throughout the entire process and now considered the matter closed". How very convenient for him.

Coming during a month when the AFL is on the back foot from the Federal Government's attack on their lax drugs policy, the timing couldn't be worse for them. Many people remain puzzled how Ben Cousins kept an alleged $3,000 a week drug habit a secret - despite being tested nine times. The league's piss-weak testing protocol is also under pressure for letting players dodge a drug test if they like. Now, serious questions about the integrity of their ASADA drug-testing are raised and, in effect, left unanswered.

Unless further information about the thoroughness of the investigation comes to light, the AFL and ASADA will be open to accusations that they simply asked around and, with no-one willingly confessing, swept the whole sorry mess under the rug since it was embarrassing to both organisations.

Australian footy fans and taxpayers deserve better.

*** UPDATE ***

Now, even Spida Everitt is having a crack at the scandalously poor AFL drug test protocols. This is twice in two weeks that Spida's broken the Cone of Silence surrounding the AFL's tawdry drug secrets. If he keeps this up, he might find himself guest-blogging here!

Citations: The Australian, 25/4/2007; ASADA Media Release, 23/5/2007

Word Count: 1176


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18 Comments:

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  • (have to admit haven't read the whole post but)
    On your comments:
    "Coming during a month when the AFL is on the back foot from the Federal Government's attack on their lax drugs policy.."

    Well if the AFL were on the Back foot from the government, it was only inorder to get right in behind them and hook them for six! I thought we established that in the previous comment thread?

    Molly

    By Anonymous Phillip Molly Malone, at 11:49 am, May 30, 2007  

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  • No, you just repeated it a lot. Hardly the same thing.

    Clearly, the AFL is responding to an attack on its policy. It's yet to be conclusively settled one way or the other.

    Why don't you read the rest of this article to get a different perspective on Federal Government/AFL interactions.

    By Blogger Greg, at 12:02 pm, May 30, 2007  

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  • For those who haven't read them, here are the 8 questions AFL players put forward in response to the governments criticism.

    1. As players we are the only group of Australian sportsmen that have volunteered to subject themselves to out of competition testing for illicit drugs – why do the government ministers criticise us for expanding their fight against illicit drugs?

    Nice use of the term "volunteered", so is he still saying they are the only ones? To the ignorant that is all this statement will mean, many of us know better, but we are in the minority.
    So how are the AFL helping to fight illicit drugs anyway? Have they reported users to the police? Their clubs? Anybody? What exactly are they doing to further the cause exactly? Have they even asked Cousins to dob in his dealers of many years? What about Ketamine Kerr and his infamous adventures? The guy who allgedly OD'ed in LA, where is that medical report to clear him by the way?

    2. Would the government ministers prefer that we withdrew support for the AFL policy and simply agree to no testing out of competition – the same arrangement which applies to the cyclists, cricketers, swimmers, athletes and soccer players?

    Wouldn't surprise me one bit, the AFL were the only sporting body to try and weasel their way out of the WADA agreement, they only agreed to it on penalty of funding withdrawl.

    3. Will the government ministers be requiring all politicians and senior public servants to submit themselves to random illicit drug testing, with persons subject to termination on testing positive at any time?

    How is this even relevant to the case at hand? It's a deflection pure and simple, designed to do nothing more than generate a little bit of heat and no result.

    4. Will the government ministers provide the AFL at their meeting with objective evidence and expert opinion which supports the position that they taken in criticising the structure and operation of the AFL policy?

    Why should they? The government doesn't have to prove anything here, it's up to the AFL to show that habitual drug users can be exposed by the system they have in place. It hasn't happened so far, there is plenty of evidence to attest to that.

    5. Are the government ministers suggesting that rehabilitation does not work and that the public funds spent in this area are a waste of taxpayers’ money?

    Why is this even being asked? Are they saying the government has asked them to stop all efforts in regards to couselling and rehabilitation and instead adopt a policy of abandoning players? I don't see that being suggested by anyone.

    6. Given the AFL policy is consistent with principles enshrined in government and justice system approaches to drug use, how is the AFL “out of step” with public expectations?

    Ummm, huh? They aren't catching confessed drug users, it seems simple to me. Do a lttle more than pay lip service to a policy, suspend and name users, that's what I expect.

    7. If the AFL is “soft on drugs” – how do the government ministers characterise the approach taken by cricket, cycling, soccer, athletics, netball, rugby union, basketball, hockey and rowing (amongst others) who do not even test their athletes for use of illicit drugs, except on the day of competition?

    Once again a simple deflection, pointing the finger at someone you claim is worse doesn't make everything roses.

    8. Will the government ministers be calling upon all sports to adopt rules which require their athletes to be tested and punished for illicit drug use all year round?

    Worry about your own back yard, when other sports have players vomiting blood on end of season trips and travelling overseas for treatment of long term ICE addiction then they'll have a reason to be worried too.

    So it seems the AFLs answer to questions regarding an obviously flawed policy is to attack others and deflect attention, now why am I not surprised.

    Paul

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:31 pm, May 30, 2007  

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  • Paul: Here is the thing, they are worried about their own back yard and I think their point is that they are "easy" targets and if the Government is serious about drugs and and don't just want to "pay lip service" to drugs, they should have good answers to the question.

    Also I am interested that the players (a group of "Millionaires with a Year Ten Education", right Greg) could come up with 8 questions to put to the Government ministers and yet the Government only were able to come up with 5 points against the AFL's policy (that you and Greg think is just fundamentally wrong) and of those, one of the point the AFL already do (Clap,Clap,Clap, great research guys) and another would require that WADA change their definition of "in competition" (ref: http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,21795040-2722,00.html).

    So when you use points like devertion tactics on the AFLPA part, this is nothing when compared to the fact the Government is saying something that they have no idea about is bad.

    Oh, whoops, my mistake! I forgot. My appologies. Their was their fearless (or should that be clueless) leader thats main point on when interview on this was that the policy was "bad". When asked what was bad about it, he just thought it was Bad! He also like Walks and candy and his favourite colour is red. Lol.

    Greg: Your right, it hasn't been "conclusively settled one way or the other". I did her Adrain Anderson say that after the Government goes and talks to all the other sports about their illicit Drug code, the AFL would welcome the Government back in for another meeting to see what they came up with.

    How long do you think it will take the Government to do that, Greg? Do you think it will be a Liberal Minister or a Labour minister that comes back to talk to them about that?

    Molly

    By Anonymous Phillip Molly Malone, at 4:33 pm, May 30, 2007  

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  • Okay, on your advice Greg, I read your post and to me it looks like another case of Government incompetence. Isn't that how you see it? Doesn't the Drug agency operate independently of the AFL? And from what I understand the AFL have no idea where they are going to test next so they can hardly be blamed.

    I see your point about the AFL and the difference in their request for investigation but surely (as Paul would say)this is just a deflection tactic by those who want to blame the AFL (when they have done nothing wrong in this case). Maybe this phrase is one that could be levelled at your feet:
    "Once again a simple deflection, pointing the finger at someone you claim is worse doesn't make everything roses".

    Where is your whack for the government? Or are you afraid that the government might not look kindly at your comments and take away money from one of your research projects? ;-)

    Molly

    By Anonymous Phillip Molly Malone, at 5:46 pm, May 30, 2007  

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  • It's important to distinguish between politicians and bureaucrats - together they constitute "the government" (along with judges) but they should be treated differently.

    At the mo', the AFL is being kicked around by federal politicians. No bureaucrats have been involved.

    OTOH, ASADA is run by bureaucrats. I am critical of ASADA for providing very little information about its inquiry. This means the public can't assess how credible its inquiry was - and hence its (lack of any) findings. This leaves it open to accusations of being a whitewash and a cover-up.

    We're also unable to determine whether the agency has a problem with leaking (either through corruption or incompetence), since they give us no reason to have any confidence in their self-absolution via media-release.

    Separately to the above, I'm also critical of the AFL for its double-standard in not pursuing this leak as vigorously as the last one. I note that the first leak (identifying drug-using players) causes them grief, whereas the second leak (tipping of drug-using players) spares them grief.

    Hence, while I'm not blaming directly the AFL for the leak, I disagree "they have done nothing wrong".

    This is not a deflection; it's just two valid, concurrent arguments arising from the same situation.

    And no, ASADA has no power to take away my research funding. The only Federal politician with the power to do that is the Education Minister (Julie Bishop), but she's been a bit more hands-off than her predecessor Brendan Nelson ... at least when it comes to political interference in university research.

    By Blogger Greg, at 6:06 pm, May 30, 2007  

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  • “ASADA’s examination involved thoroughly reviewing the evidence and taking statements either directly or indirectly from all concerned individuals and found no evidence that any person in ASADA released confidential information to a third party,” Mr Ings said. (ASADA Media Release, 23/5/2007)

    Holy crap. They've found no evidence to support the null hypothesis.

    This is called shifting the burden of proof - at this point in time, the extraordinary claim is that the information was leaked by someone who wasn't at ASADA.

    A claim, by the way that ASADA should also mention in the same breath.

    Seriously, this is like a theist saying, "we have no proof for the non-existence of God."

    I can't believe that anyone buys this shit.

    By Blogger Dikkii, at 9:48 pm, May 31, 2007  

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  • Exactly.

    A failure to find evidence is only meaningful if we're told just how hard they looked.

    For all we know, they could have sent somone along to ask about the leak - while sticking his fingers in his ears and shouting "la la la la" with his eyes shut.

    Not good enough - but the media seems to be buying it!

    By Blogger Greg, at 11:00 pm, May 31, 2007  

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  • I agree Dikkii and Greg, when the Government going to get off their asses and do something about this. Disgrace!
    Molly

    By Anonymous Phillip Molly Malone, at 12:50 pm, June 02, 2007  

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  • ...when the Government going to get off their asses...

    Good to see some Americans are into the one true footy code. Well done Molly! ;-)

    By Blogger Dikkii, at 1:57 am, June 03, 2007  

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  • Dikkii: I work in the computer industry and deal with Americans everyday for the last 11 years. Eventually it rubs off.
    Molly
    PS. Glad thats the only comment that you had. I will take that as you agreeing with me! No matter how your Color it (hehe, I could resist).

    By Anonymous Phillip Molly Malone, at 6:39 pm, June 04, 2007  

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  • I read with interest Caroline Wilson's article in the press today regarding the ongoing saga of Ben Cousin's new contract. AD has hit new levels of semantics and frankly stupidity and the AFLPA and Gale have demonstrated that all that association is is little more than a militant, yet glamourous union that clearly thinks it's mandate is to protect the negotiated rights of all the members rather than conceding there may be some exceptions to his negotiated rules.

    Firstly, the AD of " Ben Cousins was not suspended by his club for taking drugs. Ben Cousins was suspended for a series of misdemeanours which contravened his contract.'" Oh really, the Eagles suspended one of their best as he didn't turn up to training a few times and pissed off his teammates. The assertion is ridiculous and while in some weird AFL logic it can probably be justified, the comment just demonstrates AD's willingness to twist the truth. Grow up for christ sake and be honest about the situation. If Ice hadn't been involved in such a public way Cousins would have never been suspended. It just shows a cynicism that is at the heart of the AFL administration.

    Then Gale's comment of "But something that would result in a policy we've all signed off on … we will not accept that whether or not the player has an issue." This appears to be saying that if Cousins signs a contract that the AFLPA does not agree with regard to drug testing , they will take exception to that should in contradict the negotiated rights of the many. Comrades of the world unite. Gale should refer to his member as Comrade Cousins. While I can understand Gale not wanting a contractual precedent that will upset his hard fought win on the three strikes, it is unbelievable that he would take exception to a contract agreed between two parties, especially under these circumstances. I am sure he will think it will place the negotiating power into the clubs hands if any player is caught using drugs or misbehaving. That would make the players accountable to their employees for their behaviour. Shock horror. Both the AFL and the AFLPA deserve each other, but unfortunately in the meantime, the game's reputation just sinks like a stone. I guess the fans don't care as there were record attendances on the weekend.
    It is at least amusing to watch their bumbling of any issue that arises.

    By Blogger Simon, at 7:19 pm, June 13, 2007  

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  • Hey Greg,
    No posts for about a month! Does this mean the players are behaving themselves and the threat level should be brought back to yellow?
    ;-)
    Molly

    By Anonymous Phillip Molly Malone, at 12:58 am, June 18, 2007  

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  • Maybe. I worry about all the gang rapes, bashings and drug deals going on that we aren't allowed to find out about.

    Still, it has been pretty quiet so we may need to look at coming off a red threat level.

    By Blogger Greg, at 1:04 am, June 18, 2007  

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  • Ah but you can always rely on Chris Tarrant to liven things up. Guess it was in Darwin so it is pretty normal behaviour up there.

    By Blogger Simon, at 12:55 am, June 19, 2007  

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  • For sure. (Check coverage here.)

    I think we'll be adding "split round" as another factor to consider in setting the Threat Level, especially after comments from the coach about letting them run a little looser over such weekends.

    By Blogger Greg, at 1:51 am, June 19, 2007  

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  • What's the problem. ASADA - what are they worth. Does Ian THorpe trust drug testing agencies?

    Given that Daniel Kerr dates back to 2003 and Chad Fletcher (should he be the one) occurred on holidays OS. Well, Ben Cousins appears the only 'proof' of the system NOT working. OR, was he actually tested positive once? Who knows.

    Anyway, for Paul. Remember that Cricket Australia also resisted signing on to WADA. As did the AFL. And with good reason. WADA is a one size fits all designed to give the IOC a greater sense of power even over non-Olympic sports. All the while their (the IOC) own backyard is strewn with syringes. Note though that FIFA more prominantly than the AFL did resist WADA. Funny - haven't heard 'boo' from the Aust Fed Govt over FIFA (and by extension FFA). FIFA even signed a document that 'supported' WADA to allow soccer to be included in the 2004 Athens Olympics. But - only signed up, loosely, in October 2006. But - the big stick was only taken to the AFL. And the Fed's, in all their wisdom - were threatening to withdraw funding - you know, not funding to the 'elite' professionals - but the sort of funding at grass roots level that impacts kids and especially programs in Aboriginal communities. Yeah - that'd be smart.

    For Paul's benefit:
    Check out VicHealth, Aust Drug Foundation, TurningPoint, Australian NAtional Council on Drugs, Sports Medicine Australia, individuals like Dr.Michael Burke from Vic Uni (Sports Ethesist). These people support the AFL approach - and in some cases help to create it. The ADF for one, advocates the removal of the phrase 'zero tolerance' from the debate. But - that won't happen - it's too good a political 'slogan'. Especially to fly the 'law and order' flag in the lead up to a Fed Election. The Govt just doesn't have the weight of 'expert health/welfare' opinion in their corner. Given that the AFL policy is primarily concerned with health and welfare of the player group - it actually raises the question of 'INTENT' of a policy/code.

    Remember - the police enforce law and order. Not sports organisations.

    ON Q.5 - the point is that on first strike AFL players are presented to their doctor and placed into - as per what the police would do - a 'divesion' program of rehap and councelling. Apparently, the Fed Govt don't rate this - although they pump enought money to NGO's (more announced April 22, about $80 mill) for just this purpose.
    Oh - but the AFL could impose a 'suspended' fine like the NRL. Apparently a suspended fine qualifies as a sanction?!?!?!?

    Q.6 - well - certainly the Ben Cousins case is curious. Very curious. However, thus far 20 odd players HAVE been caught. And - the longer they don't retest positive - then perhaps, just perhaps, the policy is working. Just maybe. But no, it's easier to focus on Cousins.

    Q.7 - reality on this point is the misconception by many that A. AFL not even signed up to WADA. and B. that Wendall Sailor would still be playing AFL unknown to everybody. (both these statements have been made a year apart on Ch.9 and Ch.7 breakfast shows). Somehow - the AFL have not been credited publicly with at least 'testing' the water for others to follow. In the NRL a couple of clubs went hardline, a couple did nothing, a couple followed AFL and the NRL body itself did nothing until going 'safe' this year. And now the NRL get patted on the back?!?!?
    So - yes, deflection is part of it - but certainly the main gist is how come so much 'anti AFL vitriole' rather than constructive and positive language. (do the FEd's still have animosity towards Demetriou for making a comment on immigration a few years back?).

    OH - and remember - those questions were posted by the AFLPA - the players association. NOT by the AFL.

    Don't forget in recent weeks representatives of Swimming and Cricket Australia have each suggested that the AFL have been leaders and have been harshly treated. Even David Howman from WADA came out and noted the AFL was well in advance of what was required under WADA - and that he would like to suggest a couple of fine tuning points, to tighten it up and remove confusion.

    Maybe - just maybe, without the AFL, the public debate wouldn't be nearly as advanced as it is (ignorant as so many are though).

    btw - most AFL recruits are left to finish year 12 studies before moving to their clubs. The drafting policy was structured to not draft before a certain age. Very, very few players move into AFL without a completed 2ndary education. However - coming from a 'good school' is no guarrantee of not being exposed to drugs and schoolyard misbehaviour. Heck, if a 50 odd year old QC hadn't learnt - then perhaps we expect too much of AFL players - remember avg age of a club list is normally 22-24 yrs. Avg length of career about 3-4 years. Very few players manage to become 'millionaires'. After all - it's not like they're EPL soccer players. Dukes on $100K a week. Good old Bosnich, what an advert for Australians overseas.....

    By Blogger Mr Mick, at 3:08 pm, June 22, 2007  

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  • Mr Mick. There are some very good points made above, however, a battery of experts doesn't make the drug testing regime of the AFL correct. If you were dealing with a group of people whose starting point was one of reasonable behaviour then the three strikes may be a humane and conciliatory way of dealing with a problem that probably effects a minority of AFL players. However, you are not dealing with reasonable people., in either many of the players or the AFLPA.
    It has been stated publicly that Ben Cousins did not test positive for drugs in any random test. He could have continued to play and still not tested positive as Ketamine or Ice is not tested by any drug agency in Australia. Interesting really when you consider that it seems to be the drug of choice at the moment.

    Your examples of the IOC and FFA are valid. The IOC as an organisation is riddled with corruption that has been well documented and FFA and Fifa are more titular heads of sports rather than anything really valid. ( other than the world cup that does have a reasonable approach to drugs. They get kicked out if they test positive.) The real power lies with the organisations such as Uefa and the clubs themselves. Most professional soccer clubs have very very stringent drug testing programs themselves. Much stricter than the professional bodies. This, in fairness, is not for the health of the players, but a protection of the vast sums of money that they have to invest. While there is little doubt that some soccer players enjoy their nights out as much as the AFL players, they are a little more responsible as a whole. They know they will lose if they get caught.

    The AFL do not want to seem to act against what I am sure is a rogue minority, and while experts will always look for rehabilitation rather than punishment it is not a satisfactory commercial approach. In the broader community that is fine and a more socially responsible way to get people off drugs the better. The AFL is not the broader community. The reality is that AFL is not a social responsibility but a commercial venture. If a player is paid either minor or major money to perform in an athletic pursuit, it is commercial and not social. Therefore, they should be punished by their clubs, their teammates and the association if they test positive to drugs. Sure get the rehabilitation program happening, even do it as humanly as possible but ensure they do not remain within the community until they have demonstrated they are not drug dependant. No one wants to see a career ruined because of a big night, but they need to demonstrate it is a one off and not a dependancy. They can come back, and there are plenty examples of that happening.

    The clubs should take matters into their own hands and conduct drug tests themselves. Why is Ketamine still not tested ? I am sure Ben Cousins will be as part of his new contract. The clubs have some responsibility to take matters into their own hands. They won't because they are scared of both the AFL and the AFLPA. Fear will ultimately result in further conflict that will escalate.
    The QC thing is off track. There is apparently a big problem in that community, probably bigger than the AFL if the allegations are true, however, it is very rare to see a QC brawling in a bar. I have yet to see a poster of a QC on a 10 year old boys bedroom wall. they are not public figures, and while I would not want my QC to be stoned, they are not public figures. AFL players are.

    Again if the AFL players demonstrated they learnt from their bad behaviour then maybe it could be less draconian.

    The latest Alan Didak incident demonstrates that. If he had been reasonable and reported the incident to police, maybe, just maybe,one person would still be alive. It surely isn't his fault what happened but if he had the courage to report it, and be responsible maybe it may have ended in a different way. A bit harsh I know, but a reality. Being responsible for your actions is part of growing up. AFL players are not encouraged to grow up. They are protected. The three strikes is an example of that.

    BTW just because someone sits in classroom until they finish year 12 doesn't mean they get an education. It just means they filled in time until they were drafted. The reality is that many of them are not equipped for life outside of football. Many of them could set themselves up nicely but don't get the advice they need, and if they do choose to ignore it.

    By Blogger Simon, at 2:08 am, June 30, 2007  

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