The NRL is once again in the firing line for their stance and tolerance on drug use in the league, with many calling for the organisation to join rival codes in stamping out a warning system for illicit substances.
Andrew Voss put the question out to his listeners on 1170 SEN after Penrith’s Brent Naden returned a positive test for recreational drugs on Grand Final day.
“Time to draw the line in the sand, accountability for the player, zero tolerance on the issue of drugs in my opinion,” Voss said on 1170 SEN Breakfast.
“League, rugby union and AFL, our major codes have all made changes overtime to make their sport safer.
“Looking after the welfare of the player, think about it in rugby league. stronger penalties on dangerous tackles.
“We outlawed punching, the biff is all but gone, rules on mid-air tackles to protect the players.
“Off the field programs against racial vilification and pushing inclusiveness, we all support that.
“So why not a stance against drugs stronger than ever?
“Take illegal drugs, don’t play our sport.
“What is the negative of following through on that?”
The New South Wales government has eased it’s view on personal drug use, with Voss believing it’s now time for sport to take a tougher stance on the matter.
“As I express those sentiments, I head to the front page of the paper, and they’re having this argument in government, that we’re headed toward four strikes and you’re out policy in relation to drugs,” Voss added.
“The New South Wales government is considering a plan to let people who get caught with illicit drugs, get off with just a warning.
“The New South Wales cabinet are split about the proposal, which would let drug takers escape penalties for personal use.
“Under the proposal, it’s understood drug users would first be given a warning, and then two un-enforceable infringement notices, before facing criminal penalties when they commit a fourth offence.
“In light of that, if the government is going down that path, sport more than ever, cannot.
“Can our major codes unite on this one?
“Not just rugby league, but sport, take a stand.
“Stand for something far more important, far more important than the tweaking of the rules that looks after the welfare of the player.
“I’m saying more than ever, say no to drugs, sport has to take that stance.”