For international rugby league stars from the 1960s, Graeme Langlands and Peter Dimond, the code hardly resembles the game they played at the highest level.
In the wake of the allegations over the past two days regarding performance-enhancing drugs in sport, Langlands and Dimond said a few schooners after training were the only boosters they consumed.
Langlands also paid tribute to his fellow St George and Australia ‘‘Immortal’’, John Raper, who trained above and beyond the call of duty to gain his incredible stamina and workrate.
‘‘No, I never saw anything like that [drugs in sport],’’ Langlands told the Mercury yesterday.
‘‘They must’ve started after us.
‘‘Whatever the drugs do – if there’s drugs – must give them a bit of a boost along.
‘‘All we did when training was put on, we’d just go training, then up to the pub for a few beers. That was our main boost. A couple of Reschs beers and then home. This happened week after week after week.
‘‘We never got pulled aside and asked, ‘Do you want to take this tablet?’ or something. I don’t want to take a tablet. How do you know what you’re taking?
‘‘Where’s this all going to end?’’
Langlands said Raper’s dedication to fitness and conditioning was a major factor in his greatness.
‘‘I can remember Chook [Raper] going and doing an extra couple of laps,’’ Langlands said.
‘‘Sticks [St George captain-coach Norm Provan] would say, ‘We’re going to do six laps’. We’d do six laps, then get into the exercises. Then along the line Chook would go and do a couple of extras.
‘‘If he [Provan] said ‘Do 10 push-ups’, well he [Raper] would do 15. He was one of those blokes. His stamina just kept him pumping away.’’
Langlands said there was never any drugs, tablets or needles mentioned when they played.
‘‘For things to come out now, what they’re supposed to be doing, gee... and like they say, it’s in all sports... there’s the cyclist [Lance Armstrong],’’ Langlands said.
‘‘So, stuffed if I know, mate. At least we’re not guilty of taking anything, or haven’t taken anything.
‘‘If they’ve got to do that, what’s the game coming to?’’
Dimond took aim at the increased size of many of today’s players and the injury risks they were taking by bulking up.
‘‘You can understand what’s come out of this by the build of the players, knowing that it was through dope that they were getting bigger and stronger,’’ Dimond said.
‘‘We just thought it was by the way they were training and heavy weights and all that sort of thing. But it appears they were getting help.
‘‘I also think that with all this weight that players are putting on, they’re causing too much injury to the body.
‘‘The knees are not made to carry the weight and they give way on them. The ankles are starting to play up. Their shoulders are getting a hiding.’’