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Magpies get drug testing wake-up call

Matt Thompson  December 13, 2012 11:01 AM

AFL 2012 Training - Collingwood 120912

Scott Pendlebury was less than impressed with an early morning drug testing visit in Utah

COLLINGWOOD players complaining about early morning drug tests on their training camp in Utah have received little sympathy from home.

As Hawthorn flew out for its Sunshine Coast training camp, forward Jarryd Roughead conceded all AFL players have to be prepared to be tested anywhere, any time.

"We're told that even when we go on holidays that you could be in the middle of nowhere and you've still got to get to somewhere to present a sample," Roughead said.   

"It just comes with the job these days and you've got to get used to it."

The AFL has confirmed the tests on the Collingwood players were conducted by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Agency under the performance-enhancing drugs code and not the League's three-strike illicit drug policy.

"ASADA has the right to test for 365 days a year and has tested both inside and outside Australia for a number of years in regard to players in our competition," spokesman Patrick Keane said.

But it seems not everyone approves of the extensive drug testing procedures.

Port Adelaide chairman David Koch used his breakfast television show to apparently mock the early morning tests.

"So a drug tester from the AFL, these are independent people, flew to Utah? Gee, what a rort that is," Koch told his viewers.

"Quick trip, oh let's go, you know, test a few people, go overseas," Koch joked.   

Magpies vice-captain Scott Pendlebury led the Twitter charge over the pre-dawn wake up call.

"630 blood test and drug test isn't ideal on the day u get a sleep in.#bigfan," he tweeted.

But coach Nathan Buckley reminded his players of the responsibility they carry.

"@harry_o @swandane That's life as a professional H#smallpricetopay" he tweeted.

Collingwood chief executive Gary Pert last month warned that illicit drug use among players was one of the biggest issues facing the game.