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AFLPA should hold the line on drugs stance

Media Release
Richard Di Natale 30 Jan 2013

Australian Greens spokesperson for health and sport, Senator Richard Di Natale, said today that the AFL Players Association should not water down its three strikes drugs policy.
“The AFL Players Association should hold the line on the three strikes policy,” said Senator Di Natale, a former GP who worked in drug and alcohol addiction, and a former VFA player.
“The AFL’s drug policy should be primarily about player welfare. I understand that clubs want to get involved early to try and help their players but notifying clubs could actually do more harm than good.
“The relationship between individuals and their doctor is critical to the treatment of addiction. Players need to be able to engage with medical staff safe in the knowledge that the information will remain private and confidential. Having clubs play the role of both employer and counsellor is a clear conflict and could do more harm than good.

"We do not want to send a message to young people that seeking help from a health professional for a drug problem could cause them to lose their job.
“This is one of the only industries where employees are routinely tested for illicit drugs despite it having no bearing on their capacity to perform their job. Most other industries have refused to do it and the AFL Players Association have made a significant concession in allowing it.

“They have done well to protect the privacy of players in the past and they should not cave into pressure from the clubs at today’s drugs summit.”
Media contact: Andrew Blyberg 0457 901 600

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