We know that random drug testing in Tasmania is carried out on our roadsides and in our workplaces, but now there are calls to implement it in local football!
According to ABC News, the calls for random drug testing in local Tasmanian football leagues comes amid claims that the use of illegal drugs in community sport is widespread. It’s further fuelled by a coroner’s report that found that the drug ICE contributed to the deaths of two Tasmanian footballers in separate incidents, in 2014 and 2015.
The ABC quotes a former football club and association president, John Perkins, as saying that other players are also at risk of death due to illegal drugs.
“I think it’s very prevalent and, unfortunately, I think a lot of people are in denial,” says Mr Perkins in the article. “My experience would say if you ran a test through any club, organisation … you’d probably get 10 to 30 per cent go positive to some form of drug.”
The claims are backed by Rural Health Tasmania, which wants drug testing to be conducted in community football leagues.
The call is controversial and divides opinion, however, with the cost of drug testing, procedural, technical and privacy issues to consider. There’s also the fear that introducing drug testing in Tasmanian football would simply drive people away from the sport, rather than providing solutions to what is a complex community problem.
One of those who is not in favour of the drug testing of Tasmanian local footballers is the Alcohol and Drug Foundation’s Mark Nash. He’s quoted in the ABC article as saying, “Sporting clubs can be a great place for promoting great health through social cohesion and social bonding, and some of those punitive approaches through drug testing might undo some of that great work.”
Last year alone, 32 local Tasmanian football clubs were represented at illegal drugs forums conducted by the ADF.
Workplace drug testing in Tasmania
Thankfully, workplace drug testing in Tasmania is not as controversial as calls to implement drug testing in local football!