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Illicit Drugs

All NRL and NYC players are subject to the NRL’s Illicit and Hazardous Drugs Policy, which operates independently from the NRL clubs and is conducted by an independent and fully certified third party provider. The policy ensures code-wide consistency.

To ensure the program's integrity and effectiveness clubs or players are not aware of the timing or number of drug tests. Samples are collected in a private and controlled environment by third-party personnel with detailed knowledge of Australian and New Zealand testing standards. Substances such as amphetamines (a category that includes as speed, ecstasy and ice), ketamine, cannabis, cocaine, opiates, and synthetic versions of those drugs are all prohibited under the Policy. In addition to these, the NRL also analyses samples for prescription drugs such as benzodiazepines. 

Players found to be using illicit drugs have immediate access to professional support and treatment to overcome the potential effects on their health. A first positive test results in the player receiving a suspended fine, and they must undertake a mandatory treatment program. The player is also placed on a monitoring program which involves targeted testing.

Players who record a second contravention will serve a 12-match ban, the prospect of contract termination, a fine,  and further treatment and monitoring. Third time offenders will face more severe disciplinary action.


Australian Drug Foundation resources:

Drug Info -

The Other Talk -

Good Sports -

Last updated 12 May 2016

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.