Cricket Australia considers stricter drugs policy
June 15, 2007
Cricket Australia is considering an out-of-competition drug code for all first-class players, and the new system could be in place before the 2007-08 season begins. That would bring CA in line with other leading Australian sporting bodies including the Australian Football League (AFL) and the National Rugby League (NRL).
The proposal would mean CA could have cricketers tested on non-match days, while the current World Anti-Doping Agency-testing of players on match days would remain. Paul Marsh, the CEO of the Australian Cricketers' Association, said players would be asked for their input on the idea.
"Cricket is not immune from illicit drugs and we believe there is a duty of responsibility to explore avenues of developing a uniform code," Marsh told the Herald Sun. "But it's about dialogue with our members and that's why we've enlisted an outside company to put together a formal survey that will be comprehensive. It's up to our members to let us know what concerns they have and we'll then formulate a plan going forward."
It is unclear whether CA, which was scheduled to discuss the issue at a board meeting today, would favour a zero-tolerance policy or consider copying the approach used by the AFL, where a player is not identified until their third offence. "We are conscious cricket is Australia's favourite sport and our players are viewed as role models, so it's our responsibility we look at creating an appropriate culture," a CA spokesman said.