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Drugs policy all about player support: Bartel

Geelong star Jimmy Bartel has acknowledged that the AFL’s Illicit Drug policy needed to be upgraded, but maintained that its key pillar had to be educating and supporting the players.

“I know it had to be tightened, strengthened which it has,” Bartel said on the SEN Breakfast program. “I’m a bit like a lot of people I speak to, I want to see how this policy goes first before taking shots at it and I’m still for education and helping people.

“I don’t think we need a “catch’em” policy, you know like a policing policy just yet, because I think you still need to look after young men and help them come through this stage of their life.”

Read about the changes to the AFL’s Illicit Drugs Policy HERE

Bartel, an AFL Players’ board member, was discussing the policy in the wake of former Collingwood premiership captain Nick Maxwell describing the current policy as “an absolute failure” which provided a window for players to use illicit drugs in the off-season.

“I’ve probably got different experiences from Nick of course from being at different clubs,” Bartel said. “But I’ve never really got that sense of players laughing at (the policy) or shirking at it.

“I know what the policy is and I think it should stay that way which is an education and looking after players, we are dealing with 18-32 year olds with not only different backgrounds, but different mental state and personality traits and things like that.”