NEW Ovens and Murray boss Aaron McGlynn says he doesn’t believe the league has a drug problem but has warned clubs and players to remain vigilant.
While the AFL Victoria Country-affiliated competition falls under the AFL’s doping policy, players are not tested.
O and M general manager McGlynn said drugs were an issue for society, and Border sporting clubs were not immune.
“The league doesn’t conduct its own testing but all players are subject to the AFL’s doping policy and can be tested,” McGlynn told The Border Mail.
“All players need to be aware there is a chance they may be tested.
“I’m not so naive to think there are not instances of drug use, just as there are in general society.
“Just because they are footballers shouldn’t suggest a higher or lower prevalence of drug use.”
An AFL Victoria spokesman said no AFL Victoria Country-registered player had ever tested positive for drugs.
He said an education program was being developed to advise players of their responsibilities in relation to performance-enhancing substances.
AFL Victoria Country area manager John O’Donohue said he backed the AFL Victoria Country’s education system for illicit drugs, but said more could be done to educate about performance-enhancing substances.
“The performance-enhancing policy could probably be communicated better to community sports,” O’Donohue said.
“We are not immune to those sorts of problems.
“Drugs are a problem in communities so football’s role is to educate clubs and players of the dangers.
“It might not help players who are using drugs now but educate the young kids when they are confronted with it.”
He said nearly 500 people attended a drug seminar in Moama last week.
The AFL held a drugs summit in Melbourne on Wednesday as it tries to improve its illicit drug policy, which was established in 2005 to test players for drugs including cocaine, ecstasy, marijuana, ketamine and GHB.
McGlynn said the O and M was proactive in its drug education but said it would not test players for drugs.
“The league and clubs have held numerous programs in relation to drug and alcohol use,” McGlynn said.
“All players within the Ovens and Murray are subject to the rules of their governing body, in our case that is the AFL.
“The AFL obviously deal with this issue on a day-to-day basis.
“I think they are in a much better position to set policy and make informed decisions on the matter (than we are).”
Drug testing occurs in the VFL by ASADA, with Casey Scorpions player Wade Lees banned from all sport for 18 months for importing performance-enhancing drugs.
Lees was handed the ban by AFL Victoria after importing a fat-burning product from the US in 2010.
The product was found to contain traces of steroids.