As a professional sportsman, you are subject to the World Anti-Doping Authority procedures – the same as would apply to any other athlete in Australia and many worldwide including Olympians.
In signing your player contract and registration form you agree to comply with the NRL Anti-doping Rules. These rules extend to the ARL, NSWRL and all affiliated competitions. In other words, no matter which grade you play you are still bound by the Anti-doping Rules.
The Rules prohibit you from taking drugs which are on the “prohibited drug list” which is available from the NRL, your Club Doctor and the ASADA Anti-Doping Hotline. The prohibited drugs which receive the most publicity are Anabolic Steroids, Insulin, HGH (growth hormone) and Ephedrine.
Unless it’s an emergency you should only take medication supplied by the team doctor.
In any event you should advise anyone that treats you that you are a professional athlete subject to the WADA Code. Note that other substances such asthma medications can result in a positive test unless testing authorities are advised in advance via your clubs Anti Doping Officer.
If you have any doubts as to whether your medication is a banned substance, you should call the ASADA Anti-Doping Hotline 13 000 ASADA (13 000 27232) and check with your Club Anti-doping Officer or Club Doctor before taking the medication.
The onus is on you as a player to not breach the anti-doping rules. Ignorance is not a defence.
To make sure you do not breach the Anti-Doping Policy, some important things to understand are: You must always advise your club of your whereabouts for testing and be available for testing.
The NRL has the right to conduct both random and targeted tests on players. These tests are carried out by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA).
Players are not only banned after testing positive to a prohibited substance. Players, and also club staff, can also be banned for trafficking, supplying, or possessing performance enhancing drugs, helping another player use them, or for evading a test. Bans typically vary from one to four years depending on what you took and the type of charge.
You must always provide a sample when asked. If you don’t, it will be viewed the same as if you took a performance enhancing drug and you will be banned anyway.
The NRL take a strong stance against players who choose to dope. Those who dope because they haven’t got the talent or who are unwilling to do the training only cheat those who do have the natural talent and motivation to train. As such, as a clean player it is also your responsibility to ensure Rugby League is free of doping and you must report it. Failure to do so means that you will be in breach of the NRL Anti-Doping Policy.
If you have any concerns that a teammate or a player from another team is doping you can confidentially report this to ASADA at www.asada.gov.au or by calling 13 000 ASADA (13 000 27232).
All clubs have a Supplements Committee which approves the use of supplements at your club after assessing their benefits, safety, and compliance with the NRL Anti-Doping Policy.
Do not take any supplement, or medication for that matter, without approval.
If you want to use a supplement, you must get approval from the Club Supplement Committee. The best person to speak to about this is your Club Doctor who will then get that supplement assessed by the Committee.