AFL ups the anti in doping battle

Updated March 10, 2010 08:37:00

The AFL will become the first sporting code in Australia to test for human growth hormones and a new type of the drug EPO under a new deal announced with the Australian Sport Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA).

In other new anti-doping measures announced on Tuesday, AFL football operations manager Adrian Anderson said the league would also conduct extensive blood testing and profiling and freeze samples obtained from players for a period of up to eight years.

Anderson said the new measures were being taken to ensure the integrity of the sport was not threatened.

“Performance-enhancing drugs are a massive threat world-wide to sports and their integrity and we are determined to stay ahead of the game, that is why we are entering into this agreement,” Anderson said.

ASADA acting chief executive Richard Ings said the new AFL deal contained every element his agency had wanted and set the example for other Australian sports.

“ASADA considers the AFL 2010 anti-doping program to be the gold standard of anti-doping programs in Australian sports,” Ings said.

Anderson said the freezing of samples for future testing would give the league the ability to retrospectively penalise players who used drugs that were currently unable to be detected, once the testing technology became more advanced in future years.

He said it was possible that the AFL could use that power to strip players of individual awards such as the Brownlow Medal or even to strip a club of a premiership if they were later found to have been using banned substances at the time.

AAP

Topics: australian-football-league, sport, australia

First posted March 09, 2010 15:00:00

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