Players with illicit drugs in their system on match day deserve some sanction but not to have their careers ended, the AFL has said in welcoming WADA changes that will see bans cut from four years to as little as four weeks.
The AFL said the changes to the WADA code, approved at the recent world conference and to come into effect from 2021, are in line with the AFL’s approach that illicit drugs are a health problem to be treated, not a drug problem to be punished.
The changes to the WADA Code, which had been several years in the drafting, were approved at the recent annual conference in Poland.
The AFL, as a signatory to WADA, sent two officials to the fifth World Conference on Doping in Sport in Katowice where the modifications around illicit drugs detected on match day were among a suite of changes to the code.
The AFL has felt long mandatory bans were too punitive and inflexible and needed to take into account individual circumstances.