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