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NRL to upgrade anti-doping measures for rugby league

NRL to upgrade anti-doping measures for rugby league
May 24, 2013

The National Rugby League (NRL) has revealed new drug testing procedures which it claims will remove drugs from the game.

Speaking in Sydney yesterday (23rd May) NRL Chief Executive Dave Smith explained that there is no place for drugs in the sport and that the new procedures would "level the playing field".

Smith explained "we will do everything we can to have a drug-free game and the new testing measures are just part of our commitment to fans and players to placing integrity and compliance at the forefront of rugby league.

"We have been working with ASADA to identify the emerging threats in world sport.

"We have now developed a comprehensive new testing program that responds to and minimises these risks."

Last week the NRL appointed a new general manager of integrity and chief legal officer and established for the first time a dedicated integrity and compliance unit.

Smith said the NRL will utilise a test that was developed during the 2012 London Olympics to detect the use of human growth hormones (hGH).

The new anti-doping regime will also include an athlete biological passport (ABP) for players, regular testing both during the season and off-season and increased peptide testing.

The latter will see samples sent to Cologne, in France, to, Smith added "take advantage of leading international developments".

He continued "peptides are very advanced drugs.

"From time immemorial it's been hard to keep up with tests for these drugs."

Smith concluded that he hoped testing would increase in future seasons.

"The ABP test is in effect as of now. We've signed the contract earlier in the week so the new regime is in place. It's actually happened.

"What I've described is the things we will do for the rest of the year. Tests start now.

"ASADA will do all the things they need to do to carry out the testing.

"Where we start is not where we're going to finish. We will always be able to shift the program."

The NRL's new plan of action includes:

• Establishment of dedicated integrity and compliance unit

• Appointment of general manager of integrity Nick Weeks

• Athlete Biological Passport program

• Increased testing for human growth hormone, including sending samples for testing overseas

• Increased testing for peptides, including sending samples to Cologne

• Increased frequency of testing during season and off-season.


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