Sport AFL AFL makes changes to anti-doping policy
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AFL makes changes to anti-doping policy

ASADA remains on guard against drug use in Australian sport. Photo: Getty
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An AFL survey, carried out under the guidance of its chief medical officer Peter Harcourt earlier this year, revealed the information, in addition to finding 12 clubs were conducting supplement programs.

These programs, according to the survey, lacked “a single point of accountability” with the unnamed clubs not properly documenting the supplements players were using.

The survey findings follow what was a tumultuous year for the AFL, with Essendon banned from playing the finals and its coach James Hird suspended for 12 months as a result of the club’s supplements program.

St Kilda forward Ahmed Saad is also facing a possible two-year suspension after inadvertently using a prohibited stimulant.

The changes to the AFL’s anti-doping code include cataloguing the league’s prohibited and controlled treatments, a list of which will be completed before the start of next season.

Prohibited treatments, alongside those listed by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), cannot be used by players and controlled treatments must require written approval from club doctors.

Controlled treatments must be recorded via an AFL register and clubs will need to adhere to guidelines relating to the secure storage of controlled substances.

The AFL will also consider prohibiting certain providers of treatments, as a way of ensuring safe practice and eliminating the threat of organised crime becoming involved in the game.

The club’s medical officers, under what the AFL has described as a “no-needles policy”, will only be allowed to inject players when necessary for treatment purposes.

The AFL, via its website, stated its anti-doping code will go “above and beyond the WADA code”.

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