THE AFL wants to work with the players and "balance their rights and responsibilities" in the formation of a new illicit drugs policy. 

The current three-strikes policy is made possible because the players volunteered to participate in the welfare-based system, which protects the identity of players who test positive.

AFL football operations manager Mark Evans said the League could not simply react to criticism of its policy and implement changes without the players' support. 

Hawks bosses call for tougher drugs code

"We need the players to come on board with us. I think we're equally committed to reviewing the policy," Evans told radio station SEN.

"The majority of players that I've spoken to agree that it helps us take care of the health and welfare and reputations of individuals.

"They can set the agenda about the culture within a playing group, and if they partner up with clubs and the League, then we've got an opportunity to have a policy that reflects today."

Evans said the players had been open to the possibility of different forms of testing – such as hair testing – being used during the season under a new policy. 

There would also be a push from clubs for more of their personnel to be made aware of positive tests if changes to the three-strikes policy are made.   

"We've been sharing information with clubs for two years (but) it's protected in that we don't share information about individuals … we share a club profile," Evans said. 

"I think these are the sorts of things we need to talk to clubs and players about and try and get a policy for the future.

"We deserve credit for having a policy but we also need to make sure it's the right policy for the time."