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AFL must lead fight against illicit drugs: Roos

Ben Guthrie  April 7, 2015 11:02 AM

Helping Gaz, drugs debate and more Matt Thompson with Tuesday's Footy Feed
AFL 2015 NAB Challenge - Melbourne v Essendon

Melbourne coach Paul Roos

Until we start referring to them as illegal drugs and we start to push that line, we're not going to get anywhere as a society or a League

THE AFL has a responsibility to lead society's fight against illicit drugs, Melbourne coach Paul Roos says.

Opposition to the League's three-strikes drugs policy continues to grow on the back of Hawthorn CEO Stuart Fox's call for a more stringent illicit drugs code.

Roos said on Tuesday the AFL needed to examine closely its existing policy.

"If you stole a car three times, would the AFL say you can steal a car once and you can steal a car twice but on the third time we're actually going to (do something)?" Roos said.

"It's illogical to me that you can promote something that is illegal."

Under the three-strikes policy, which was established in 2005, players are allowed two positive tests for a prohibited substance before being punished for a third offence.

Roos said a change needed to come about in the way society viewed illicit drugs.

"The vernacular's got to change. When we keep calling them party drugs and recreational drugs and illicit drugs we'll never get anywhere," Roos said.

"Until we start referring to them as illegal drugs and we start to push that line, we're not going to get anywhere as a society or a League.

"As far as I'm concerned [illicit drugs] are illegal and that's the way I refer to them."

Roos said the time has come for the League to take a decisive step to rid the game of illicit drugs and provide an example to society.

"At the moment we're just following everyone else, and that's not a criticism of the AFL. But at the moment, the AFL are followers.

"Let's be leaders and stop being followers."

Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley endorsed Roos' sentiments.

 

"I suggest it's pretty clear that if it's a battle, we're not winning it," Buckley said on Tuesday. 

"The clubs need to have a bit more of a say in what's going on and a bit more faith put in them."