Neil Balme, Director of Football at the Magpies looks on during the 2015 NAB Challenge Week 1 match between the Hawthorn Hawks and the Collingwood Magpies at Aurora Stadium, Launceston on February 26, 2015. (Photo: Michael Willson/AFL Media)

WADA is a bad fit for the AFL: Here’s why

In recent weeks, numerous people and organisations have called for the AFL to withdraw from WADA’s anti-doping regime.

The AFL Players Association CEO Paul Marsh, Collingwood’s Neil Balme and the Greens leader Richard Di Natale are just some of the people who have called for the AFL to move away from WADA.

For those that don’t understand the intricacies of anti-doping regimes in sport, here’s why a move away from WADA and to the AFL having its own code makes sense.

Problems with WADA:

  • The WADA code has resulted in players actually being found guilty, not just fringe players, really good players
  • Players who were found guilty under the WADA regime have actually been given appropriate sanctions
  • The WADA code was designed for individual, not team sports. It encourages personal responsibility. AFL players and personal responsibility don’t mix
  • Because of WADA, Brendon Goddard is the captain of an AFL club
  • WADA is independent of the AFL and therefore cares more about anti-doping than AFL revenue
  • WADA’s Headquarters is in Montreal which is French speaking and they were formed in Switzerland which is basically a hiding place for Nazi gold

Benefits of an AFL specific doping code: 

  • Star players could be protected from unhelpful positive tests
  • Penalties could be aligned to other minor misdemeanors such as violence against women and therefore punished only through pre-season suspensions or fines
  • Players could outsource responsibility to their clubs who can then claim ‘systemic failure’ and get a small fine
  • The rare bad result can be released during that period between Christmas and New Years’ Eve when no one cares or notices
  • The AFL Tribunal has already shown an ability to deliver helpful ‘not guilty’ decisions in these cases, so much so that even Essendon supporters now praise the AFL’s system without irony
  • Doping investigations would not drag on for years because they would never get started
  • The NFL and NBA have their own doping codes and nobody really cares that their athletes are doping like crazy

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  1. TheGovernorSM

    WhippingBoySEN SaintFrankly TheOx05 And wada_ama can jam it! The NBA and NFL have their own anti drug code. Blame Vlad Demetriou

  2. Ian Galbraith

    Nail..head, one of you best Titus, absolutely spot on. Should be forwarded to all in the AFL, well except maybe Brendon Goddard.

  3. peterbyrnes67

    WhippingBoySEN SaintFrankly TheOx05 crap Balme and this peanut are living in wrong century . Both should give up their day jobs

  4. Dave Raus

    We are not in any world championships nor Olympics lets load them up & see how good they really can be. It’s entertainment ffs

  5. sportchapel

    TitusOReily Well the AFL does keep players away from those unhelpful positive tests, just the social drug kind U0001f609U0001f648 #3strikesnotout

  6. JHammer1725

    TitusOReily No government funding. Good luck with that. Without WADA the sport will be like baseball and NFL. Drug cheats everywhere. Idiot

  7. Travis Hocart

    Kerryn Edwards Dean Morgan Mackenzie Morgan. This could be Titus’ best

  8. JHammer1725

    TitusOReily when I said idiot it was directed at Neil Balme and his gold fish bowl view of AFL. He is from Tasmania….

  9. Djs76117

    WhippingBoySEN TheGovernorSM SaintFrankly TheOx05 TitusOReily damn right 2 extremely successful sporting codes. Drop the wada_ama code

  10. McSeanD

    TitusOReily nailed it again Titus, though you probably could win the argument on the Goddard example alone…. #youknowitmakessense

  11. mick24365

    JHammer1725 TitusOReily since when has Tassie been part of Western Australia cos thats where he’s from

  12. damochandler

    TheGovernorSM WhippingBoySEN SaintFrankly TheOx05 wada_ama you should do research into it before shooting your mouth off

  13. Matt Connole

    They’re weren’t found guilty. The tribunal was comfortably satisfied.

  14. Joanne Everett

    ALF players need lessons from Sally Pearson and all our other international athletes. How would these mega dollar individuals cope with being woken up for drug tests, report their whereabouts every day,and lastly be individually responsible for substances ingested? Most of the ALF players earn so much more than our international athletes who train just as hard and are willing to undertake drug tests at any time in any location.

  15. jomagoo68

    WhippingBoySEN TheGovernorSM SaintFrankly TheOx05 TitusOReily
    What a load of utter rubish.

  16. Matthew Adlard

    I found point 4 of the problems with WADA the most damning…

  17. Dean Morgan

    Why is it something so obvious can be unseen by some?

  18. Dean Morgan

    Are you claiming that one Jana Stein? I bet you wrote it for him.

  19. Geoff Schaefer

    Clearly WADA being independent goes against everything the AFL has sought to achieve, that being total dictatorship and unaccountability. Rather than break away from WADA, the easiest solution is for the AFL to sponsor WADA in exchange for Andrew Demetriou being appointed to the WADA Board. Problem solved…

  20. Snert Underpant

    Won’t work Geoff. WADA is based in Canada. They don’t do smorgasbords or buffets.

  21. SamWhiteNight

    Absolutely hilarious. LOL the comments from knucklehead bogans who are in agreement cos they don’t realise u r taking the piss

  22. Travis Hocart

    Because Dean Morgan … we see what we want to see … despite how stupid it might be ….

  23. Chris Chambers

    That is what defined guilt Matt. Just a like in the AFL tribunal they were not guilty, but they were never defined as innocent.

  24. SamWhiteNight

    MEMO to the knucklehead bogans……read the article before making comment. If u can’t read….get someone to read it to you!U0001f602

  25. Chris Chambers

    Tim Mcbride-Burgess. But if a laugh but spot on!

  26. Geoff Schaefer

    Won’t work Joanne. How are blokes like Dustin Martin supposed to report their whereabouts every day when he can’t remember where he’s been…

  27. Czar71

    Sometimes you’re just a bit too clever for the average Essendon fan Titus!!! Love your work.

  28. Matteo Benedict Fernandez

    The AFL is going to point to the fact they have distanced themselves from state and federal law enforcement and deal with criminal matters in house. The AFL really feel they are helping the cops on the beat catch more speeding motorists and j walkers by investigating rape and criminal assaults through the match review panel

  29. Kaine Hockey

    “Cry,cry,wah wah their not guilty as they never tested positive! You’re an idiot!*typical Essendon supporters response when presented with a clear and logical argument from the rest of the world!

  30. Nigel Coles

    This is spot on Nick Gloede Damian Maynard Andrew Maynard

  31. Joanne Everett

    Thanks for giving me a hearty laugh! Enjoyed your comment. The tattooed man/boy looks like cartoon parody,or should I say paradox.

  32. Snert Underpant

    Point 4 about a man who points Mathew. Good point.

  33. Michael Lourey

    LOL “… even Essendon supporters now praise the AFL’s system without irony”!!

  34. Edna Merkle

    I hope WADA don’t come to my nursing home. Most of the residents don’t know what they’ve taken, where they’ve been or where they are. The whole scrabble team will get suspended.

  35. Horrie Chunter. Real bloke.

    So if they weren’t found guilty Matt, why aren’t they playing?

  36. Andrew Miksad

    Still can’t accept that you were wrong on Dusty, aye? You jumped the gun on that one. Otherwise a good write-up. #nocasetoanswer

  37. benjaminfitz

    rogvaughan TitusOReily The AFL Code will also validate their dislike of anti-doping clauses in sponsor contracts. Thanks for the article.

  38. Tommy10cents

    I think some of the comments prove that people just want to be outraged and to voice this outrage so dont read an article after being outragred by the heading then prove their ignorance by posting said outrage whilst their little brain is still switched off. Thanks for the laugh all round.

  39. Hugo Von Winterhalter

    What you need Matt is a man’s haircut and a couple of years national service to teach you about the real world.

  40. Matt Connole

    I prefer to hear about the real world from your mrs.

  41. Russell Johnson

    Steven Bird Darren Butterworth Clint Dunell this is spot on.

  42. Hugo Von Winterhalter

    Not likely Matt. She doesn’t talk to men who look like Ken dolls.

  43. Ronnie Cash

    Lance Armstrong approves this comment…U0001f601

  44. Ronnie Cash

    Gold from Titus once more, the funniest thing is the twits who think he’s serious…

  45. Nick Gloede

    So true!! If you can’t see the systematic corruption of the AFL you’d have to be blind. Not to mention the constant and unwavering sense of entitlement of its players… Pretty disappointing to be honest. Let’s drop the facade the AFL has created of being ingenuous and all-caring and realise that this is the most corrupt organisation in Australia! Instead of disassociating with WADA, why not adopt a policy of zero tolerance of all positive tests for banned substances and illicit drugs. I guess it’s because the majority are on the gear…

  46. Mark Jenkins

    outstanding Titus O’Reily – spot on!!!
    Once upon a time our code existed as a fiefdom in the studios of World of Sport and a variety of restaurants around Sth Melbourne but surely it should evolve from those caveman days??

  47. Sir_Merc

    TitusOReily lordloft this sums up our thoughts big fella, cheats need prosecuting #standbyhird lol

  48. Teresa Glenn

    I laughed until I cried when I read this post. Then I clicked on “related articles” and read one written at the time Jack Viney was reported. And if I thought I laughed hard at this one, I was hysterical at that post. Titus O’Reilly, you make being on FB worthwhile….you are one funny person….

  49. swansational

    TitusOReily AFL should ditch adherence to WADA code. As long as they’re prepared to ditch all government funding and use their own stadia.

  50. GTsekenis

    TitusOReily official_lesdog Give up the money and facilities appropriated then

  51. Gene Saultry

    Titus is a Melbourne supporter. The only true winners out of the Essendon debacle. Means that melksham won’t get to play for the mighty Dees

  52. Nigel Coles

    Spot on Nick! There wouldn’t be a competition in existence if there was a ZERO tolerance policy! Especially if it was zero tolerance for what they like to describe as “recreational” drugs (illegal or illicit to the general public!)
    Their ONLY reason to disassociate from WADA is so they can continue to run their corrupted organisation the way they want to. If only the TRUTH was known about all the ‘cover ups’ the AFL has done over the past 20 years. Might take a “FBI investigation into FIFA” style scenario to really find the truth though. The AFL already have all law enforcement agencies around Australia under their wing and the federal government! So it’d take an out of Australia organisation to get to the bottom of the corruption involved in this organisation. As long as the “image of the game” is upheld, the boys club will cover up whatever they need to…. The Dustin Martin case is just the latest cover up / pay off from the AFL who have declared through this cover-up and pay off of police and the woman involved that as an organisation they accept their employees being violent towards women!

  53. Kim Jones

    Spot on. This whole Essendon saga could’ve been swept under the carpet, I mean, dealt with, faster. And this would allow the AFL & media to focus on important footy issues like naked Collingwood selfies.

  54. TheReaper76

    official_lesdog TitusOReily yeah drug prevention and drug taking tend not to hold hands too well.

  55. TheReaper76

    official_lesdog TitusOReily BTW, pisstake aside, you’ve hit nail on head there. U0001f44d

  56. doodledogs1960

    TitusOReily cannot work out why no one has sued you

  57. 72nivek

    TitusOReily these are more compelling reasons than have actually been given. 🙂

  58. CorinnaSladey

    TitusOReily doodledogs1960 I’m currently seeking legal advice from Tania Hird U0001f631

  59. 25MMCC

    TitusOReily Get rid of WADA .. It’s holding up the Aussie game. We don’t need a bunch of Swiss telling us how to play AFL!

  60. doodledogs1960

    TitusOReily sorry Titus.I’m dealing with efc, dank, M hardie, Nik Giannopoulos issues .didnt see you at the Footscray slater&GORDON offices

  61. Damian Maynard

    Ouch! AFL’s reputation going great guns early 2016… “Let’s enrol little Jonny into footy, it’ll be good for him, learn team principles, hard work, leadership and life skills… And if all else fails (let’s be honest, those values and principles can’t survive in such a boys club system like the AFL) we can resort to cheating and lying to get ahead” sounds like a great life skill to have…. U0001f44dU0001f3fcU0001f44dU0001f3fcU0001f44dU0001f3fc

  62. Jannine105

    TitusOReily mel_wright AFL players are very well paid and should comply with the same rigid testing as all athletes!

  63. StephenOMeara

    TitusOReily spot on as usual, I had missed the idiocy of RichardDiNatale on this one

  64. bomberdi

    TitusOReily So you’re just another journo!!??!! … and you also write comedy, congrats

  65. FrankWCE1992

    doodledogs1960 I didn’t think it was possible but yes.. Talk about paranoid delusional.

  66. John Dundon

    Brilliantly stated. The afl needs wada & asada more than ever to keep the Comp clean. The afl couldn’t self regulate and govern poppy farming or Coke factories let alone dark & dank places!

  67. Chris Fleetwood

    Brilliant exactly what the AFL were trying to do

  68. Jannine105

    TitusOReily mel_wright maybe if AFL players earned below minimum wage like the majority of swimmers they would take it seriously!

  69. Aaron Gocs

    should just be open slather. 100 metre torpedoes, 50 metre handballs, speccys on peoples heads, bring it on

  70. Samuel Blight

    This is great.
    “Because of WADA, Brendan Goddard is captain of an AFL club” was my favourite.

  71. Stephen Thomas

    If that ever comes in English I’d like to read it sometime!

  72. Matt Rasmussen

    Paul Meehan, Switzerland, Nazi gold… Nuff said

  73. AfterGrogBlog

    GrogsGamut TitusOReily Pretty sure those are the exact reasons the AFL fought tooth and nail to avoid signing up to WADA.

  74. GrogsGamut

    AfterGrogBlog I reckon the last point re NFL and NBA is the one the AFL likes the most TitusOReily

  75. AfterGrogBlog

    GrogsGamut TitusOReily I can see AFL HQ in a flutter – “You know what will happen if we sign up to WADA?!?!?!”

  76. Tigers_of_Old

    TitusOReily have nailed it. Balmes comments most interesting..

  77. jimbowie03

    Tigers_of_Old TitusOReily putting that kindly tooheys. Idiotic I would have used.

  78. NatTitcume

    TitusOReily well said. As a former Olympic athlete.

  79. NatTitcume

    TitusOReily i love your commentary on this saga. Players got fair wack in the end. Only thing wrong was that it should have been 2 yrs ago

  80. TitusOReily

    NatTitcume Yep. Although a fair bit of the delay was due to Hird’s legal antics.

  81. NatTitcume

    TitusOReily james Who? I have never seen that name before in papers or news

  82. TomReynolds

    Because allowing people do do ALL the drugs with knowledge of the after effects is manslaughter?

  83. TomReynolds

    damochandler TheGovernorSM WhippingBoySEN SaintFrankly TheOx05 wada_ama yeah the non WADA code sports are sooo clean #allTheDrugs

  84. clintwit1

    TitusOReily the two year delay served Essendon in the end, 17 players moved on.

  85. entersanmarcos

    NatTitcume does it seem bizarre that other athletes in similar sports who earn 100 times more are not held to the same rules ie baseball,?

  86. ClintonCole_

    NatTitcume you make judgements & tout your acheivments as quasi justification yet have no idea about whom or how they have been judged

  87. NatTitcume

    ClintonCole_ we all know right from wrong. Hiding behind a consent form just does not cut it.

  88. NatTitcume

    entersanmarcos AFL should never joined WADA. Its not an international sport. We play the Irish in a hybrid game every now then

  89. entersanmarcos

    NatTitcume indeed, I also think that Olympic team sports should have equal scrutiny as MLB, NFL and NBA do. As in some where in between

  90. NatTitcume

    ClintonCole_ I’m guessing that you have signed a WADA and ASADA agreement as an athlete?

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