Life on the land in Australia



NRL legend Petero Civoniceva says a ground-up approach is needed to effectively eradicate drugs in sport and to ensure the use of illicit drugs does not filter down to regional competitions.

It’s been two weeks since the Australian Crime Commission named Australian Football League and National Rugby League in its report of widespread doping in Australian sports.
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Speaking at the Legends of League Breakfast at Hervey Bay RSL yesterday, Civoniceva (pictured) criticised the handling of the scandal, but admitted the focus on the issue highlighted the need for more education about drugs and supplements at a grassroots level.

“All we can do is give the players the tools to know the difference on what is acceptable and what is not, no matter what level you play at,” Civoniceva, who played 309 games with the Brisbane Broncos and Penrith Panthers, told the Chronicle.
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“At our level in the NRL, the education process that now goes on with the young players is quite extensive.

“It is really important our young players are aware of the risks they take if that’s the road they go down.

“It’s something we definitely don’t want in our game, but it is important we have to go through this process to make sure it is not a part of our game.”

While the use of illicit drugs among players would seem highly unlikely in bush football, the Queensland Rugby League is not taking any chances.

Between July 1, 2011 and June 30, 2012, the QRL conducted 55 tests in its testing program through the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority, including seven tests that were carried out at regional finals.

Wallaroos captain Todd Campbell confirmed some of his teammates were tested at the 2009 Bundaberg Rugby League grand final.

He felt it was a bit “strange”, but said “no one really cared”.

“At this level of football it’s more of a skill-based thing and where the talent shines through,” Campbell said.
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Campbell was confident the use of illegal substances to improve performances was not prevalent in community rugby league in the region, but believed the report into drugs in elite sporting competitions was a massive wake-up call for non-professional players.

He felt there was a need for increased awareness, especially for young or emerging athletes who may be knowingly or unknowingly taking substances that may not only be banned but also detrimental to their health.

“That’s where you start off – the young players coming through – because they will be the ones we’ll be watching on TV in 10 or 15 years,” he said.

“But at the end of day it is the health side of things, not just the performance side where it gets a bit scary for the younger blokes, especially if there is something that could ruin their life.

“I might have my head in a hole, but I wouldn’t have a clue what was a performance-enhancing drug was so it would be good to have education for it.”

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February 21st, 2013
Topic: DRUGS, PEOPLE, SPORTS & RACING Tags: , , , , , ,

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