SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 03: Jayson Bukuya and Ben Barba of the Sharks celebrate during the Cronulla Sharks NRL Grand Final celebrations at Southern Cross Group Stadium on October 3, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. The Cronulla Sharks defeated the Melbourne Storm in yesterday's NRL Grand Final. (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)

Punishments for athletes who test positive to recreational drugs such as cocaine and marijuana may be faced with a more lenient suspension if the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) code reform passes.

According to The Daily Telegraph, leading international anti-doping agencies, including Australia’s ASADA, will vote on the proposed reform in Poland this week and could shape WADA’s code for 2021.

Under the new proposal, if athletes can prove they weren’t taken to enhance performance the suspension will only last three months.

If athletes then agree to undergo a rehabilitation and detox program, the ban could be slashed to just one month .

Under WADA’s current code, the use of prohibited substances, including cocaine, is met with either a two or four-year ban.

With all four Australian football codes bound by WADA code, as well as a whole host of other sports, the new proposal will have a significant impact on sporting bodies who have already handed down punishments for illicit drug use.

In the NRL, former Cronulla Shark Ben Barba was banned for three months after testing positive to cocaine use in 2016 and was eventually axed by the club.

New Zealand pair Kevin Proctor and Jesse Bromwich escaped suspension despite being caught on camera consuming cocaine, as they did not test positive to the substance.

However, both players were ruled out of the 2017 World Cup and handed suspensions by their respective NRL sides, Gold Coast and Melbourne.

Ex-Collingwood player Sam Murray was handed a backdated 18-month suspension by the AFL Anti-Doping Tribunal in August after testing positive to a cocaine.

The 22-year-old was recently delisted by the Magpies, but will be free to return to training after December 17 if he is recruited by another club.

Russia’s eligibility for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will also be debated in upcoming WADA conference in Poland after the nation was linked to another doping scandal.

5 COMMENTS

  1. Sounds like a junket, but surely they could have picked a better place than Poland.
    Current WADA code – 2 or 4 year ban, and all footy codes in Aus are bound by it, but considering “radical” reform by dropping it to 3 months.
    Barba’s ban in 2016 was 3 months, and wasn’t that his second offence?
    This HUGE.

  2. Bad news for clubs and fans as players will end up taking more of these motivation reducing and performance diminishing drugs such as marijuana now which ultimately will affect their teams results in the end and letting down their team mates and supporters with sub standard performances.

Comments are closed.