THE Australian Football League today announced the Australian Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) would conduct almost 1000 tests across the 2010 year for performance-enhancing drugs, under the AFL’s Anti-Doping Code.

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At a joint media conference in Melbourne today, AFL Football Operations Manager Adrian Anderson and Acting ASADA Chief Executive Officer Richard Ings detailed the renewed testing agreement between the AFL and ASADA, and said a number of new initiatives would be introduced this year with the aim to deter illegal doping from the sport.

In 2010, for the first time, ASADA will be testing for EPO and CERA tests, while there will also be testing for Human Growth Hormone (HGH).

Mr Anderson said the AFL would ask for every new player to the competition to be tested at some point during 2010, while the AFL and ASADA had agreed to cooperate with one another by proactively exchanging information and intelligence.

“The AFL, through our medical commissioners Dr Peter Harcourt and Dr Harry Unglik, constantly works with ASADA to review our anti-doping strategy, to make sure it is in line with the leading anti-doping trends and work in international sports,” Mr Anderson said.

“Our commitment is that the AFL competition is conducted on the basis of athletic prowess and natural levels of fitness and development, and to set an example for all participants in Australian football by condemning the use of performance enhancing substances.”

Mr Ings said that the AFL’s anti-doping program was at the forefront of Australian sport.

“We must commend the AFL on the way they have approached the development of their anti-doping program for 2010,” he said.

“They wanted to take advantage of every anti-doping tool ASADA has to offer and show the football community and its supporters the investment the AFL is willing to make to achieve Pure Performance in the sport.”