Rugby League's Growing Drug Problem

Rugby League is coming under threat from a much more sinister opponent.

Drugs, Cocaine in particular, has impacted the careers of many stars in the last 12 months in what is becoming a growing issue, not just in the NRL but in Super League too.

Some of the biggest stars in the current game have been caught up in scandals, that have forced them to serve bans, and return to the game with a tarnished reputation.

Has this been going on for a while, or are the anti-doping agencies just getting better at tracing drugs in players systems, unfortunately that's something we may never know.

Jayden Nikorima is the latest player to lose a contract after failing a second drug test.
Ben Barba, Zak Hardaker, Jesse Bromwich, Kevin Proctor, the list goes on and on. Is it the money? Are the players desperately chasing the high away from the game? Or is Rugby League developing a sinister drug culture?

I'm not here to put out a witch hunt, or say the game is developing a nasty habit, after all there are rosters of players abiding by the rules, and doing credit to Rugby League with their work on and off the field.

So what can be done to prevent this? Longer bans, more random checks, immediate dismissal for players found with illegal substances, there are a number of things, however wherever is put in place, some players will unfortunately continue with this poor choice.

Unfortunately for years I have sat back and watched brilliant players ruin their careers, Rangi Chase, a man filled with potential and talent that would never be fulfilled, Ben Barba, premiership winner and million dollar fullback, exiled from the NRL, Gareth Hock, England regular and Super League enforcer, forced to take a two year break from the game, which would see him return past his best.

Hopefully the rise in players being caught, will be enough to deter more players from taking the path of other fallen stars.



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