BLOCKA: It's time to throw out the drug cheats


Australia's major sporting bodies don’t have a choice any more - they have got to ban any drug cheats or match fixers for life.

And if that includes my old colleague Stephen Dank, then so be it.

As we face possibly the greatest dilemma in Australian sporting history, the time for dancing around the hard decisions and keeping things behind closed doors is over.

It’s time to take action and let the world know we’re not scared of making the tough decisions, no matter how high-profile the people involved are.

Drugs and match fixing cannot be tolerated in rugby league and should not be tolerated in any sport.

Get rid of the lot of them I say. If there’s 100 players, entire teams, whatever, found guilty of this latest drugs issue or match fixing, we don’t want them in our game.

The time has come to make a stand.

They need to ban these people – be it the scientists, team doctors, medicos – who are administering these substances to the players, or those who made the decision to administer them, as well as the players themselves.

I, like everyone else, have been gobsmacked at the revelations of the past few days, not only of what we’ve heard already but at the prospect of what else is going to come out of all of this.

But not for one second do I feel sorry for anybody.

The only people who need to be worried are the ones who have done something wrong, or potentially have done something wrong, and I think there’s a fair few of them out there.

Everyone’s heard of the saying that if something seems too good to be true, it generally is.

Well, if someone, and I don’t care who it is, tells you that by injecting this or swallowing that, it is going to make you Superman, then surely you’ve got to have some suspicions.

I don’t fall for the argument that these young kids come into footy clubs and do as they are told by the team doctors or scientists.

If someone is taking me to another building to get injections or giving me stuff I’ve never seen before or I’m being asked to sign waivers, then I’m asking questions.

The players who cry innocent should be kicked in the butt for being so naive in the first place.

As for Stephen Dank, I worked with him when I did some work under Dessy Hasler at Manly in 2004.

I can honestly say I don’t know if he knew that what he was doing then would have this effect.

Every sports scientist or  doctor is looking for an edge, or a way to get an advantage over their rivals.

But I don’t think Steve would have known what he was administering was illegal.

He’s a nice bloke and never struck me as the type to be all  ‘‘this is illegal but keep it quiet and we’ll give it to the players to give them an edge over everyone else, they’ll never get caught’’.

He struck me as a bloke who went right to the edge of legality, trying to find ways to get in front, but that it stopped there.

That said, I might just be the most naive bloke going.

Well, maybe there’s a few more on that list now, too.


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