Drug tests welcome but too costly
IN THE aftermath of the Danny Wicks drug dealing charges, the question has to be asked: Are players from the Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League competition clean?
The answer is that because of costs we may never know.
President of the NRRRL Robin Harley said testing players for banned substances was not a viable option for group level rugby league.
“The Australian Sports Commission has a budget for testing athletes but it doesn’t filter down into the Northern Rivers competition,” Mr Harley said.
“I think it stops at the Queensland Cup level. We would be naive to think some players are not using drugs but we are optimistic that players participating are drug-free.”
Country Rugby League CEO Terry Quinn agreed with Harley the process of testing players was far too expensive.
“It’s a costly exercise. We do have the right to test players ... but it rarely happens,” Quinn said.
Grafton Ghosts first-grade coach Col Speed said he would like to see drug testing introduced but understood there were huge costs involved.
“They should bring in testing but I suppose it would be costly,” Speed said.
“I wonder sometimes how kids hardly train but have the capacity to play 80 minutes of football.
“Kids are always looking for short cuts these days.”
President of the Lower Clarence Magpies, Garry Anderson, said to his knowledge drugs were not an issue at his club.
“I have no concerns at all,” Anderson said. “I have been asked if we would have Danny Wicks at the Magpies and the answer is definitely no.
“You are innocent until proven guilty but what Danny has allegedly done is disgraceful. About one per cent of players make the NRL and if he’s done that it is beyond belief.
“He should take a leaf out of Luke Douglas’s (Cronulla Sharks, former Lower Clarence Magpie) book, who is a great role model.
“I feel sorry for Danny’s family.”