IN AUSTRALIA, as in many other countries, the use of recreational drugs is illegal. Yet the Australia Football League, the body that administers Australian rules football nationally, knows and hides the names of several players who have been known to indulge in the usage of drugs.
The AFL’s drugs policy is a curious beast. It will only name players when they have been caught thrice. The league tests players both in and out of season and any infractions are noted.
In 2012, there were 26 positive tests. Had any of these players been operating under the code of the World Anti Doping Agency and tested positive on match day, that would have meant a ban of two years.
Hence the AFL decided to create its own policy – after all, footballers are pretty well-known to be using recreational drugs. They have the time and the money.
The AFL policy came into being in 2005 to test for drugs including cocaine, ecstasy, marijuana, ketamine and GHB.
After the third strike, a player is fined $5000 and could be suspended for anything up to 18 months. While suspended, the player will continue to receive treatment and counselling.
After two strikes, the player is classified as under treatment and is open to being reported for a third offence only if a doctor assigned to his case says the treatment has been completed.
The amazing thing about it is that if a player tests positive, even the club for which he plays is not informed.
If a member of the public knew about a criminal offence and did not inform the police, then that individual would be in trouble if it came to light that he or she was in possession of that knowledge.
The AFL keeps all this knowledge in its bosom and the police look the other way.
There are a lot of criminal offenders in the league and the AFL covers up for all of them.
Yet police are more interested in nabbing some poor soul who forgot to put on an indicator when turning right or left on a road.
There’s justice for you.