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New measures to fight drug scourge

Demetriou vows to catch drug cheats Sweeping new measures aimed at tackling drugs issue
If you think you can run the gauntlet, make no mistake – you will be caught
Andrew Demetriou
THE AFL is set to implement a range of emergency measures as it declares war on performance enhancing drugs.

AFL commission chairman Mike Fitzpatrick called an emergency meeting on Thursday in response to the release of the Australian Crime Commission's report into performance enhancing drugs in Australian sport.

The ACC report called the use of banned substances across several codes as "widespread".

Declaring, "If you think you can run the gauntlet, make no mistake – you will be caught," League CEO Andrew Demetriou outlined the steps agreed upon at the meeting.

They included:

- Significantly bolstering the AFL's integrity unit with more staff, more technology and more testing.
- Auditing all clubs' supplement use in conjunction with the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA), and in particular the use of external practitioners.
- Enhanced registration and detailed background checks of football club employees, including sub-contractors.
- Establishment of a whistle-blower service, to be fleshed out in more detail at the next commission meeting on February 18.
- Working with government to strengthen information sharing capabilities between sporting bodies and crime authorities.
- Lobbying state governments to introduce criminal sanctions for traffickers of performance enhancing drugs.

All club presidents, CEOs, football managers and senior coaches will be required to be briefed by the AFL to ensure they fully understand the measures being taken.

More to come.
The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs