The AFL Players’ Association says the current illicit drugs policy is the one the players agreed to and that their wellbeing was very much central to it.
CEO Paul Marsh told the AFL website that he supported the policy but was open to a review if there was evidence that the players’ use of illicit drugs or the dangers they are exposed to had changed dramatically.
“It’s a policy that AFL players have agreed to be subject to on the basis that it is a medical model and player wellbeing is at the heart of it.” – paul marsh
“It’s a policy that AFL players have agreed to be subject to on the basis that it is a medical model and player wellbeing is at the heart of it,” he said.
“The AFLPA is always open to reviewing this policy if we think it can be improved and it is consistent with the principles of the current medical model.”
Under the current medical model, players are tested throughout the year and they are subject to hair testing out of competition.
The players agreed to that on the basis that the names of players who test positive to illicit drugs remain confidential with only the AFL medical officer and relevant club doctor made aware of their positive test.
Players who record a strike are subject to counselling, education and treatment to address the issue.
The players can also be suspended for up to 18 games if they record three strikes.
Under changes introduced in 2012, players are only allowed to self-report once during their career and clubs are provided with de-identified feedback about the numbers of players recording positive tests at their clubs.
Clubs would like to receive more specific information about their players and argue they would be able to provide necessary support to individuals if they knew more about what players were doing.
Marsh said confidentiality was at the heart of the medical model as it exposed players to people who had expertise in treating the problem.
This article originally appeared on AFL.com.au