Contrary to some media reports, the AFL Players’ Association has not agreed to any changes to the Illicit Drugs Policy, nor have we agreed to year round hair testing.
The IDP is a voluntary policy, which has been agreed to by the AFL, players and clubs. Any changes to the policy require the agreement of the players.
We are, however, committed to reviewing the policy, and to make any changes deemed appropriate as a result of that review. Since its introduction in 2005, there have been a number of changes to the policy and we continue to remain open to further changes based on evidence. We outlined this commitment at a meeting of club CEOs yesterday, and will work closely with the AFL and the clubs in this review.
The review process is in its earliest stages and the steps from here are:
– The AFL Players’ Association Board has recommended to the playing group that we conduct hair testing on all players during the current season, in addition to the testing performed on their return from leave. This testing would be conducted to gather an evidence base that will allow us to properly evaluate the effectiveness of the current policy.
– The AFL Players’ Association is in the process of seeking the support of each club’s playing group to conduct this hair testing. This hair testing will only proceed with the support of the collective playing group, given this policy is a voluntary one.
– If and when the players’ support is confirmed, hair testing would commence.
– Our aim would then be to sit down with the AFL and clubs to analyse the results of all testing over the past 12 months and determine if there are any improvements that could be made to the current policy.